There are different classes of fire that you should know. Different types of fire sometimes require different methods to extinguish. However, there are also some fire extinguisher balls or fire extinguishers that work with a few fire classes in one. There are different fire classes which are:
- A Class: solids such as paper, textiles, plastics, wood, and rubber
- B Class: flammable liquids such as oil, petrol, and paint and flammable gases such as butane, methane, and propane
- D Class: flammable metals such as magnesium, aluminum, and titanium
- E Class: electronically energized equipment
- F Class: cooking oils and fats
- K Class: vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances
Type Of Fire Extinguisher
Just like I mentioned, different types of fire need different types of fire extinguishers. There are several types of fire extinguishers such as:
1Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher (Black Label)
For: Class E, B Fire
This type of fire extinguisher is ideal for electrical equipment so it is more common in offices or service rooms. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are safe to use on fires involving electrical apparatus. It works by smothering the fire and cutting off the supply of air. Another great thing about it is that it does not leave any residue like foam extinguishers at all. Apart from class E, you can also use it on class B fires that involve flammable liquids as well.
2Foam Extinguisher (Cream Label)
For: Class A & B Fires
This type is ideal for class A and B fires, mainly liquid fires and solid items. It extinguishes liquid fires by sealing the surface of the liquid which prevents flammable vapor from reaching the air. This will starve the fire of fuel to cause it to stop. Note that this type is not suitable for free-flowing liquid fires. You can use them for buildings such are warehouses, residential properties, hospitals, schools, offices, etc.
3Powder Extinguisher / Dry Extinguisher (Blue Label)
For: Class A, B, C Fire
It is the multipurpose fire extinguisher since you can use it on class A, B, and C fires. You can also use it on class E but there is still the chance that it may re-ignite. The downside of this type is that it can create a loss of visibility and even breathing problems. Powder extinguisher is not ideal for use inside the building unless there is no alternative.
4Water Extinguisher (Red Label)
For: Class A Fire
This is one of the most cost-effective ways to fight Class A fires. Also, there are 4 types of water extinguishers that you will come across which are:
- Water Jet: works by spraying a jet of water at the burning materials, cooling them, and preventing re-ignition.
- Water Mist / Fog: applies water in the form of a mist of fog. The droplets are much smaller which is ideal for a larger the surface area in relation to their size. This makes the droplet evaporates quickly which absorbs the heat energy faster.
- Water Spray: uses a very fine spray of water droplets.
- Water With Additives: comes with foaming chemicals so that it can soak into the burning materials more effectively.
5Wet Chemical Extinguisher (Yellow Label)
For: Class A, F, K Fire
As for this type, it is the fire extinguisher that you should have for kitchen and home use. It is suitable for class K or F fires that involve cooking oils and fats. From butter and lard to all types of oil, a wet chemical extinguisher works with them all. This type is extremely effective, and it rapidly knocks the flames out as it cools the burning oil. At the same time, it also reacts chemically to foam a soap-like solution to seal the surface and prevent re-ignition. In case of emergency, you can also use it for class A and B fires that involve solids and flammable liquids.
Not so common before, but fire blankets are for use on hot oil fires like frying pans or small deep fryers. Apart from that, this type is also ideal for someone whose clothing has caught fire as well. The way fire blankets work is by smothering the fire which stops access to oxygen and extinguishes it. Now, you can find fire blankets in many commercial situations out there. People use them to combat in laboratories, protect people, or put out accidental fires in waste paper bins.
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