The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers Explained

Fire extinguishers are highly effective at putting out small home fires. However, most extinguishers cannot put out every kind of fire. They are divided into distinct classes, each of which are meant to handle different types of fires. This means different areas of the home may require a different type of fire extinguisher. An explanation of the various classes of fire extinguishers are given below.

Class A

Class A fire extinguishers contain water and are meant for common combustible materials such as paper, cloth, wood, plastics and rubber. They should never be used for grease fires because the water will make the fire bigger. Never use this type of extinguisher on electrical fires because the water will cause electrical shorts and there is a high risk of getting shocked.

Class B

Class B fire extinguishers contain dry chemicals and should be used for flammable liquids such as grease, kerosene, solvents, gasoline, paint, oil, lacquer and oil-based products.

Class C

Class C fire extinguishers use non-conductive agents such as carbon dioxide and are meant for electrical fires. Use these on electrical equipment, appliances, circuit breakers, wiring and outlets. If possible, unplugging the appliance will facilitate putting out the fire.

Class D

Class D fire extinguishers are meant for combustible metals and are used in factories and laboratories.

Class E

Class E fire extinguishers are commonly used in commercial kitchens and are meant for vegetable and animal oils, as well as fats.

There are also fire extinguishers that will cover multiple classes of fires such as a class A-B-C extinguisher that puts out fires covered by class A, B, and C fire extinguishers. A class B-C extinguisher would put out fires covered by class B and C fire extinguishers, and so forth.

For your living areas as well as garage, use class A-B-C extinguishers. Use a class B-C fire extinguisher for your kitchen.

Make sure that you locate your fire extinguishers in visible and unobstructed locations and away from a likely fire source. A fire extinguisher can’t be used if it is engulfed in flames. Use them only for small fires involving single objects. If the room is filled with thick smoke, do not attempt to put out the fire. Get the occupants out of your home and call 911.

Protect your home from fire risks. Call Key City Insurance at 760-241-7375 for more information on Victorville home insurance.