The Different Classes of Fire and How to Extinguish Them

by CCB Today | Friday, Jun 9, 2017 | 245 views

Firefighter training on extinguishing fire You never want to be in a situation that requires using a fire extinguisher. The fact that it exists means you have to know how to use it properly. This includes learning the type of extinguisher installed in your building, and what kind of fire it puts out.

Not all accidental fires ignite the same way, and no all-purpose extinguisher puts out all kinds of fire. Ken-Mar Fire Extinguisher Co knows the value of handling this standard safety tool correctly, and it involves learning all of its capabilities and limitations.

Knowing what types of fire there are and what type of extinguisher you have prepares you better for any unexpected situation. Nothing beats a prepared mind during an emergency, after all.

Class A – Ordinary Combustibles

The fuel source for this type of fire consumes flammable materials such as wood, paper, fabric, and trash. Class A fires are one of the most common accidental fires encountered in most settings. Your extinguisher needs water or mono ammonium phosphate to put out fires.

Class B – Flammable Liquids/Gas

Liquid or gas-based fuel is the source of this type of fire like kerosene, gasoline, all petroleum-based paint and oils, butane, and propane. Extinguishers for these require smothering effects that deplete oxygen supply.

Class C – Electrical Fire

Motors, home appliances, and electronic transformers commonly cause electrical fires, usually due to bad wiring or overloaded surge protectors. To douse them, the extinguishing agent should be non-conductive like carbon dioxide.

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Class D – Combustible Metal

Metals like titanium, aluminum, potassium, and magnesium are some examples of fuel sources for Class D Fires. Extinguishing fires like these with water is useless – dry powder agents are the only thing that can smother them.

Class K – Grease Fires

These fires often occur in kitchens, where plenty of grease, oils, and animal fat become fuel sources. Wet chemical extinguishers like Purple K are effective in snuffing out grease fires.

Fires are serious business and knowing when and where to use which tool to quench them is critical life-and-death knowledge. As with any job, there exists the right tool to accomplish it.

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