Fire Safety - What Are the Five Types of Fire Extinguishers?

27/01/2018

A fire extinguisher could definitely be a life-saving tool in certain scenarios, but did you know that there are different kinds of fire extinguishers for various types of fires? Planning beforehand and carrying out a fire extinguisher in an area of your house where it is likely to be used is an excellent idea, all it takes is a little education and planning ahead and you should be prepared if anything is to happen in the future.

There are five types of fire extinguishers.

Class A

This extinguisher puts out flames with ordinary combustible materials like fabric, rubber, paper, wood and several plastics. This would be a great type of extinguisher to get in many rooms of your house, as it can help put out many different types of fires.

Class B

This extinguisher should be used on fires involving flammable liquids. Grease, gasoline and oil-based paints are flammable liquids that this extinguisher would work on. This sort of extinguisher would function well in a kitchen or art studio.

Class C

This extinguisher is good for fires between appliances, tools or other electronics that could be energized or plugged in to an outlet. This sort of extinguisher would be good in the garage, workroom, kitchen or anywhere electronics are being heavily utilized.

Course D

This extinguisher is intended to use on particular flammable metals, typically in factories that work with metals. This isn't typically a residential type of extinguisher, they are more likely to be found in the factories where those specific metals are utilized.

Class K

This extinguisher is used on fires which include animal oils, vegetable oils or fats in cooking appliances. Typically stocked in commercial-grade kitchens for example restaurants, caterers and cafeterias, these extinguishers have been finding their way to residential kitchens lately.

Multi-Use

There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers on the market that have tags with more than one of those classes listed above that can work for several situations and fires.

When faced with a situation where you might need to use a fire extinguisher, there are a number of things to consider before actually using the extinguisher. Portable fire extinguishers intended for use at home are fantastic for containing small fires immediately. However, you must remember these extinguishers are modest and cannot fight large fires independently. If you think a flame is too big for your extinguisher, or if the fire can spread fast be certain that you call 911 until you attempt to extinguish the fire by yourself.

Care

If you keep fire extinguishers in your house, you'll need to be certain that they are correctly maintained in order that they will work correctly when called upon for use. Some things to keep in mind include maintaining the extinguisher in an area where it will probably be needed if anything were to happen. Make sure the extinguisher is not obstructed by other things that would limit access during an emergency.

Keep the pressure in your own extinguisher at the recommended level. Examine the gauge indicating where the pressure is. Make sure all parts of the extinguisher are operable and not damaged or restricted. Check extinguishers once a month and shake them to maintain the substances from settling.

Utilization

When it comes time to actually use the extinguisher, there is a fairly easy acronym to remember how to use it correctly: PASS. Here is how it breaks down:

P: Pull the pin on the top of the fire extinguisher. This pin releases a lock which lets you discharge the extinguisher.

A: Aim at the base of the flame instead of the flames, or top of this fire. In order to extinguish a flame you must extinguish the source, or the fuel at the base of the fire.

S: Squeeze the lever slowly. This releases the extinguishing agent in a steady stream until the lever is released and the discharge will stop.
S: Sweep from side to side, move the fire extinguisher in a back and forth sweeping movement until the fire is completely extinguished. Make sure you are a few feet away from the actual fire, and you can begin moving when the flame starts to lessen.