The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

A fire extinguisher is a crucial safety device in both residential and commercial environments. Individuals can use it to put out small fires and prevent them from escalating. Fire extinguishers come in different types, and each is designed for a specific type of fire. Knowing which type of extinguisher to use in a specific situation is important to keep you and other people safe in the event of a fire. Let’s look at the types of fire extinguishers to help you make the right decision when purchasing one for your home or business.

Class A Fire Extinguisher

This type of fire extinguisher is designed for Class A fires, which involve everyday combustible things like paper, wood, and cloth. Class A extinguishers are filled with water or a pressurized water-based solution; they work by cooling the fire to prevent it from spreading. Some may use a clean agent instead of water, which works by displacing oxygen and interrupting the chemical reaction that is taking place.

Class B Fire Extinguisher

Fires in class B are those that involve liquid flammables like oil and gasoline. Class B extinguishers are filled with carbon dioxide or clean agents and work by removing oxygen from the fire. That way, the fire is prevented from spreading and eventually extinguished. Since these types of fire extinguishers do not leave residues, they are a preferred choice because they mean less cleaning up.

Class C Fire Extinguisher

Fires in class C are those that involve electrical equipment. CO2 and clean agents are effective on Class C fires, but water-based solutions should not be used because they conduct electricity and can cause serious injuries. The places that would do best with these fire extinguishers are office buildings, warehouses, and factories.

Class D Fire Extinguisher

A Class D fire involves metal combustibles, such as titanium and magnesium. Fires from titanium and magnesium are not as common, but they can be very dangerous because the metals can react explosively when they come in contact with water. Class D fire extinguishers are filled with a dry powder that smothers the fire and prevents it from spreading.

Class K Fire Extinguisher

Class K fires are those that involve cooking oils and fats, such as those used in commercial kitchens. These types of fires are very common and can be difficult to extinguish because water-based solutions can cause the fire to spread. Class K fire extinguishers are filled with a wet chemical solution that quickly cools the oil and prevents it from igniting again.

In addition to these fire extinguisher types and classes, there are also multipurpose extinguishers like the ABC fire extinguisher that can be used on fire types A, B, and C. There’s also the AB extinguisher, which can be used on Class A and B fires. You just need to look at the label to see what type of fires each one can be used on.

Now that you know the different types of fire extinguishers, you can make an informed decision about which one is right for your home or business. Be sure to choose the right size and type for the area in which you’ll be using it, and make sure everyone who might need to use it knows where it is and how to operate it. That way, you’ll be prepared in the event of a fire.