Fires in libraries and rare book collections can be very difficult to extinguish with hand portable fire extinguishers. They can be very expensive (depending on the value of the books) if they are not caught quickly and extinguished efficiently.
The greatest single hazard in these situations is arson. Someone gets into the rows of bookshelves, dowses them with an accelerant (such as lighter fluid) and escapes while the fire quickly grows.
Having so much paper increases the “fuel loading” of the hazard and the fire can become deep seated rapidly. If the book shelves are open from one side to the other, the fire will spread to both sides making it impossible to fight with one ordinary extinguisher because valuable time will be lost running from one side to the other. Tightly packed books will retain heat and burst into flames minutes after extinguishment has occurred.
Amerex has conducted many tests on this specific problem and we have discovered that the Model 272 is far superior to any other 2A rated extinguisher. The fine mist spray makes for better cooling and the wand allows the operator to attack both sides of the shelves without running around to the other side. The wand allows the operator to safely “break up” the burning material, the longer discharge gives the operator more time to accomplish this and the fine spray mist creates less run-off and water damage. Typically, rare books have to be freeze dried in order to restore them after a sprinkler system has been activated. Quick use of the Model 272 will minimize this problem.
In some of these tests, the Model 272 was capable of extinguishing bookshelf fires twice the size of fires not extinguished by other 2A rated extinguishers. In other tests the Model 272 extinguished test fires with twice the pre-burn time of tests with other 2A rated extinguishers. The Model 272 is far superior to anything else on the market for this type of hazard.
Every community in North America has a library, every college and university has several libraries and rare book collections, book stores and book store chains are everywhere, some with rare book departments. The Model 272 is their best “first line” defense against arson and incipient fires.