Types Of Fire Extinguishers
There are five basic types of fire extinguishers available for industrial and common use. Each extinguisher is categorized by its class and is designed to put out a specific type of fire. Occasionally, a homeowner or business will want a combination fire extinguisher that works for more than one type of fire. Here are the classes of fires and their corresponding fire extinguishers.
- Class A fires and fire extinguishers. This is a water-based extinguisher made to put out paper, wood, cloth, rubber and plastic fires, as these are the most common items found in small wastepaper basket fires. The combination ABC multipurpose extinguishers are used in many office buildings, small businesses and by homeowners.
- Class B fires and fire extinguishers. This is a carbon dioxide extinguisher that can put out flammable liquids such as oil-based paint, gasoline and grease. It is most useful if the person putting out the fire is within three to eight feet from the base of the fire.
- Class C fires and fire extinguishers. This is also a carbon dioxide extinguisher that is used on electrical fires. Many electrical fires involve tools, appliances, wiring and circuit breakers.
- Class D fires and fire extinguishers. Fire extinguishers used on metals, usually in an industrial capacity, are known as class D extinguishers. Many metal fabricating facilities and chemical laboratories that use combustible metals have this type of fire extinguisher.
- Class K fires and fire extinguishers. Fires of this type are found in commercial kitchens in restaurants, catering companies and cafeterias. This extinguisher was created to put out fires that involve kitchen oils and fats.