They are a very recognizable item. Usually, fire extinguishers are bright red and may have a hose that projects the fire extinguishing solution. The average fire extinguisher puts out most fires, right? It turns out that there are several different classes of fires and types of fire extinguishers. Knowing which extinguishers to use for each class of fire could save lives and property.
Classes of Fires
Four different classes of fires exist, and they are denoted with the first four letters of the alphabet. When cloth, wood, paper, and some plastics and other ordinary solid combustibles burn, it is considered a Class A fire. Fires that are best put out by smothering, including flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, alcohol, oil, and ether, are Class B fires. Class C fires include wiring, appliances, and electrical equipment, and the extinguishing agent protects against electrical shock. Some flammable metallic substances, including potassium and sodium, constitute Class D fires.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers Staten Island NY come in four different types. To avoid personal injury or property damage, it is crucial to use the right type of fire extinguisher on the right class of fire. If the wrong type of extinguisher were used, it could spread the fire, cause an explosion or electric shock. Small, portable fire extinguishers can be useful for small fires but are no match for large, spreading fires.
Type A fire extinguishers are pressurized water and should be used on Class A fires only. Putting water on flammable liquids (Class B) or electrical fires (Class C) could cause electric shock and may spread the fire. The Type ABC fire extinguisher is a dry chemical that can be used on all classes of fires. A Type BC fire extinguisher can extinguish electrical and chemical fires with carbon dioxide as an extinguishing agent. A Type K fire extinguisher puts out grease fires in kitchens.
Not all fire extinguishers look alike, but many have the traditional red fire extinguisher look familiar. There should be a sticker on the fire extinguisher that identifies the type. It may be challenging to remember to read a label when a fire is burning, but the consequences of using the wrong one are significant. In any case, fire experts warn that a small Class A fire may be easily put out by a Type A fire extinguisher but large, electrical, chemical, or spreading fires are more dangerous. People should not try to put out these types of fires.