If you are unsure which type of fire extinguisher you need, Douglas Fire Equipment has you covered with this simple guide to fire extinguishers. Since not all fires are the same, different fuels and agents require different types of extinguishers.
It is also important to keep fire extinguishers in your home to protect from possible fires. Simply read my guide to fire extinguishers below to learn how to stay safe during a fire. This guide explains the fire extinguisher rating system with a quick description on which types of extinguishers you should use for each type of fire.
Class A Extinguishers will put out fires caused by flammable combustibles,
such as wood, paper, and fabric. The numerical rating for this class of fire
extinguisher refers to the amount of water the fire extinguisher
holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.
Class B Extinguishers are to be used on fires involving
flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, oil, and paint. The numerical
rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate
number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert
can expect to extinguish.
Class C Extinguishers are suitable for use on electrically
energized fires and flammable gases. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter "C" indicates that the
extinguishing agent is non-conductive.
Class D Extinguishers are designed for use on combustible metals
and are often specific for the type of metal in question. There is no
picture designator for Class D extinguishers. These extinguishers
generally have no numerical rating nor are they given a multi-purpose rating
for use on other types of fires.
Class K Extinguishers are used on fires involving cooking media
(e.g. fats, grease, and oils) in commercial cooking sites such as
restaurants. These fire extinguishers work on the principle of
saponification. Saponification takes place when alkaline mixtures
such as potassium acetate, potassium citrate, or potassium
carbonate, are applied to burning cooking oil or fat. The alkaline
mixture combined with the fatty acid creates a soapy foam on the
surface that holds in the vapors and steam to extinguish the fire.
These extinguishers are identified by the letter K and
are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for
the type of metal in question.
There are also multipurpose extinguishers that can be used on different types of fires. If you are looking for a multipurpose extinguisher in will be labeled with more than one class (for example: A-B, B-C, etc.). Now that you know which type of extinguisher you need for your home or business, head to the store to get started. If you want to learn more about the fire extinguisher rating system, feel free to contact me.
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