Selecting the right fire extinguisher requires you to understand the different types of fire. Majority of people believe that a fire extinguisher can extinguish all kinds of fires, but that is not true. Some extinguisher leave a powdery mess, others use wet chemicals to douse the fire and some are perfect to be used around the sensitive equipment.
Different types of fires:
Each class of the fire is differentiated on the basis of the combustible material involved. From common materials like wood and paper to cooking oil, gas and more, all kinds are fires are divided in these five classes:
The Class A fire is caused by the common materials such as wood, paper, and more.
The Class B fires involves combustible liquids such as oils, alcohol and gasoline.
These types of fires happen due to energized electricity. This includes short-circuited equipment, overheated equipment or anything involving a surge protector.
These fires happen due to metals such as Aluminum, Titanium, magnesium and more.
The class K fires happen due to cooking oils, grease and more. These fires mostly happen in the restaurant kitchens.
To douse the fires, you have to match the right fire extinguisher with the fire. The extinguisher for the electrical fire would be ineffective on the Class K fires and vice versa. Thus, it is necessary that you know about the types of fire extinguishers that would work on the above mentioned classes of fires.
Types of fire extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are the most common and can be used on Class A fires. There are four type of water extinguishers that can be used on the basis of place: water spray, water jet, water mist/fog and water with additives.
These fire extinguishers can be used on Class A and B fires. These extinguishers seal the surface of the liquid and starve the fire. These cannot be used for the free flowing liquid fires. The extinguishers have cream label.
The powder extinguishers are multi-purpose extinguishers that can be used on Class A, Class B and Class C fires. While these extinguishers extinguish the electrical fires, they don’t cool the surface. This means that the fire can reignite.
These fire extinguishers are perfect for the places with sensitive equipment such as It offices and server rooms.
Wet Chemical extinguishers
The wet chemical extinguishers are perfect for Class F fires. Used effectively, these fire extinguishers douse the fires happening due to fats, cooking oil, lard, butter and other oils.
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