Fire fighting equipment


What you should learn and remember from this lesson is the following:

  1. What fire fighting equipment is on board?
  2. What fire extinguishers are being used on board of aircraft?
  3. How long can a fire extinguishers usually discharge an extinguishing agent?
  4. What is the function of PBE’s?
  5. What is the function of a PED containment device?
  6. What is a crash axe used for in fire fighting?
  7. Where can you find the crash axe on board usually?

FIre extinguishers

Hand-held fire extinguishers discharge an extinguishing agent for 8 to 25 seconds with a range of 1,5 to 4,0 meters, depending the type and capacity.
During this short period it is essential to select the appropriate fire extinguisher and use it effectively.

There are different types of fire extinguishers:

  • Halon or ‘BCF’, which are commonly used on board of aircraft. It can be used for Class A, B and C fire
  • Hafex which is the successor of Halon

Other types of fire extinguishers, mainly used on ground:

  • Water (H2O) which can be used for Class A fires (never use for burning fluids or electrical fires!)
  • CO2 for Class B and C fires
  • DP (dry powder) for Class D fires
  • Dry chemicals for class A, B and C fires

Halon fire extinguishers are only allowed in aircraft and submarines. They are 3 times as effective as CO2 fire extinguishers that contain the same amount of extinguishing agent.

Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE)

Protective Breathing Equipment (PBE) is designed to protect the cabin crew from smoke, toxic fumes and gases. There are many different types of PBE’s. PBE’s are equipped with an oxygen generator in order to provide fresh oxygen to the user.

The cabin crew can still communicate amongst themselves as well as with the flight crew and passengers while using the PA.

Fire fighting gloves

Fire gloves are fire retardant. There are many different types. These gloves give protection to hands and arms against heat.

PED containment device

A PED containment device can be used to stow a cooled down (only when safe!) ‘Portable Electronic Device’ (PED’s) such as a laptop, tablet, e-reader, smartphone, etc.  

The PED containment device pretends to be explosion proof. 

This is not (yet) standard equipment on board of every aircraft. Check if your aircraft is equipped with a PED containment device and what is included.

Crash axe

The crash axe and crowbar are used to get access to fire sources behind panels.

The handle of the crash axe is insulated against electrical shock.

The crash axe is often stowed in the cockpit.