Fire Extinguisher and Classes of Fires
Did you know that if you encounter a fire with the wrong type of fire extinguisher you could make the fire worse? For example, use an extinguisher that contains only water on a flammable liquid fire and you’ll spread the fire and put yourself in further danger. However, the fires are divided into five classes and fire extinguishers are specifically made to take out one or more of the fire classes. Below is a list of fire classes and the extinguishers that put them out. Each fire extinguisher has labels designated for the type of fire to use the extinguisher on. Double check the extinguisher you’re about to use to make sure it’s designed to fight the type of fire. If you are unclear how to deal with the fire it is best to be safe and evacuate.
Class of Fire: A (A in a green triangle)
Fires of ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, cardboard, most plastics, and cloth
Extinguishers to Use: Water, Foam Spray, ABC Powder, or Wet Chemical
Class of Fire: B (B in a red square)
Fires of flammable liquids like petroleum, kerosene, grease, and others (but not alcohol or cooking oil)
Extinguishers to Use: Foam Spray, ABC Powder, or Carbon Dioxide
Class of Fire: C (C in a blue circle)
Fires of energized electrical equipment such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers and outlets
Extinguisher to Use: ABC Powder
Class of Fire: D (D in a yellow star)
Fires of combustible metals like magnesium, titanium, sodium (often found in chemical laboratories).
Extinguishers to Use: ABC Powder or Carbon Dioxide
Class of Fire: K (K in a black hexagon)
Fires of cooking oils, trans fats (often used in restaurants).
Extinguisher to Use: Wet Chemical