Fire Extinguisher Day in Russia Date in the current year: February 7, 2024

Fire Extinguisher Day in Russia On February 7, the Ministry of Emergency Situations of the Russian Federation unofficially celebrates Fire Extinguisher Day. On the occasion, the Ministry’s employees host workshops where they teach people how to use a fire extinguisher in case of emergency.

A fire extinguisher is an active fire protection (AFP) device designed to extinguish small fires or control them until the arrival of a fire brigade. A typical fire extinguisher consists of a pressure vessel that contains an extinguishing agent (a dry or wet chemical, water, foam, inert gas, etc.).

The first mentioned of a fire extinguisher dates back to 1723: it was then that Ambrose Godfrey, a German-born British apothecary and chemist, patented his fire extinguishing system. Godfrey manufactured and sold phosphorus, which is a highly flammable substance, so fire safety was crucial for his businesses.

Godfrey’s fire extinguisher consisted of a cask filled with fire-extinguishing liquid. Inside the cask there also was a pewter chamber filled with gunpowder and connected to a system of fuses. In the event of a fire, the fuses ignited and set fire to gunpowder, which exploded and scattered the fire-extinguishing liquid across the room.

Godfrey’s device was not widely adopted, but it prompted the creation of other types of fire extinguisher. For example, British inventor George William Manby is credited with creating the first portable pressurized fore extinguisher. His “extincteur” consisted of a copper vessel with potassium carbonate (pearl ash) solution contained within compressed air.

Although Manby’s invention is regarded as the first modern fire extinguisher, the Russian Ministry of Emergency Situations celebrates Fire Extinguisher Day in honor of Alanson Crane, the inventor of the first American fire extinguisher who received a patent for his invention in February 1863 (the exact date is February 10, 1863, but Russians celebrate Fire Extinguisher Day on February 7 for some reason).

It is somewhat strange that the Ministry of Emergency Situation of Russia didn’t choose to celebrate a Russian inventor who patented firefighting foam and foam fire extinguisher. Aleksandr Loran invented firefighting foam in 1902 and patented it two years later. Subsequently, he received a Russian patent for a foam fire extinguisher in 1906 and an American one a year later.

Modern fire extinguishers are classified by the type of fires they are designed to extinguish. There are separate fire classes in Europe, the United States and Australia; they are categorized according to the source of combustion, for example, combustible materials, liquids, gases, metals, electricity, or cooking oils and fats. The idea is that different sources of combustion require different extinguishing agents. For example, water and foam must not be used to extinguish electrical fires.

In most countries, there are regulations that require fire extinguishers be easily accessible in public buildings, industrial facilities, and cars. And, ideally, everyone should know how to handle a fire extinguisher properly; that is why Russia’s Ministry of Emergency Situations came up with the idea of celebrating Fire Extinguisher Day.

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Fire Extinguisher Day in Russia, holidays in Russia, unofficial observances, Ministry of Emergency Situations of Russia