Frequently, someone in need of a fire extinguisher will purchase an ABC fire extinguisher without giving much thought to the fire hazards they need to avoid. In order to make an informed decision when purchasing fire extinguishers, you must first understand several things about extinguishers, including the fire class you need to protect against and any special conditions you must consider (computer electronics, for example).Do you want to learn more? Visit The Bronx fire extinguishers
There are five types of fires that require extinguishers: A, B, C, D, and K.
A green triangle with a “A” in the centre, as well as a pictogram of a garbage can and wood burning, distinguishes fire extinguishers rated for Class A fires. Extinguishers for common combustibles like paper, cloth, rubber, and some plastics are used to put out fires (materials that leave ash when burnt, hence, the “A”).
A red square with a “B” in the centre, as well as a pictogram of a gasoline can with a burning puddle, are found on fire extinguishers rated for Class B fires. Extinguishers for flammable liquids such as gasoline, lubricating oil, diesel fuel, and many organic solvents found in laboratories are used to put out fires (things found in barrels, hence “B”).
Class C – Fire extinguishers with a blue circle with a “C” in the centre and a pictogram of an electric plug with a burning outlet are rated for Class C fires. Extinguishers for energised electrical equipment, electric motors, circuit panels, switches, and tools are used to put out electrical fires (“C” for current-electrical).
Class D – A yellow pentagram (star) with a “D” in the centre, as well as a pictogram of a burning gear and bearing, distinguishes fire extinguishers rated for Class D fires. Metal and metal alloy fires, such as titanium, sodium, and magnesium, are extinguished with these extinguishers.
Cooking fires caused by grease, fat, and cooking oil are extinguished with Class K fire extinguishers (“K” for kitchen).
Extinguishers can be purchased with a single or multiple fire class rating (ABC or BC, for example).
Materials for putting out fires
Extinguishers employ a variety of materials to put out fires. When selecting an extinguisher, first establish the type of fire you’ll be battling, then select the appropriate extinguishing material for the job.
Water: Water extinguishers, also known as APW extinguishers, use pressured water to put out fires. Class A flames (combustibles such as paper, cloth, etc.) may only be put out with APW extinguishers; they cannot be used to put out other types of fires.
Chemical that is dry: To put out A-, B-, C-, or D-type flames, dry chemicals are utilised. They work by sprinkling a tiny coating of chemical dust over the burning substance. Fire extinguishers made of dry chemicals are particularly effective in putting out fires. Dry chemical extinguishers, on the other hand, can be abrasive and corrosive to electronics and other items.
CO2 is a gas. Carbon dioxide operates by eliminating oxygen from the area where the fire is burning. B (flammable liquid) and C (electrical fires) extinguishers are never used with carbon dioxide extinguishers. Carbon dioxide would be a better choice than dry chemical extinguishers for computer, medical, and scientific equipment, as well as aircraft electronics, because carbon dioxide leaves no residue.
Metal/sand: To put out fires caused by metals and metal alloys, some class D fire extinguishers use metal or sand, such as sodium chloride (NaCl) or powdered copper metal.