The 9 Types of Fire Extinguishers and How To Use Them

When it comes to fire safety, it is important to know not all fires are the same. In a previous Fireline blog post, we discussed the Class Types of Fires. There are different kinds of fires because different fuels create different fires, which need different types of fire extinguishers. In this article we will provide you information on the different types of fire extinguishers available and when to use them.

There are 9 different types of fire extinguishers:

Water and Foam

The Water and Foam extinguisher eliminates a fire by allowing water to take away the heat component of a fire while foam separates oxygen from the fire. A water extinguisher should only be used on Class A fires (Combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics). If used on a Class B fire (flammable liquid of gas or paint. flammable gases, such as propane or butane) the discharge could help spread the flammable liquid or gas. If used on a Class C fire (electrical equipment such as motors or kitchen appliances), it could create a shock hazard.

The foam extinguisher can only be used on Class A and Class B fires only. If used on Class C fires, it will create a shock hazard.

Carbon Dioxide

This type of fire extinguisher takes away the oxygen from a fire and removes the heat with a cold discharge. The Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher should be used on Class B and C fires. It is not effective on Class A fires.

Dry Chemical

The Dry Chemical Extinguisher removes the chemical reaction of a fire. In this category the multi-purpose Dry Chemical extinguisher is the most used fire extinguisher of all extinguishers because it is effective on Class A, Class B and Class C fires. This is an excellent fire extinguisher because it creates a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements on Class A fires.

If you are using an ordinary Dry Chemical Extinguisher and not a multi-purpose Dry Chemical extinguisher, only use it on Class B and Class C fires. It is important to use the right extinguisher for a fuel type because using an incorrect fire extinguisher can do more harm than good by re-igniting a fire.

Wet Chemical

The Wet Chemical Extinguisher extinguishes a fire by removing heat and preventing barriers between oxygen and fuel so a fire cannot be re-ignited.

Wet Chemicals are Class K (examples: cooking oils, greases, animal fat, vegetable fat) Extinguishers. This extinguisher is a must-have if you are in the commercial cooking industry. Some Wet Chemical extinguishers can be used on Class A Fires as well.

Clean Agent

The Clean Agent Extinguisher uses both halon and halocarbon by interrupting the chemical reaction component of a fire. The extinguisher is mainly used on Class B and C fires. Larger Clean Agent extinguishers can be used on Class A, Class B, and Class C fires.

Dry Powder

Similar to the dry chemical extinguisher, dry powder separates fuel from oxygen or removes the heat element of a fire. Dry powder extinguishers are used on Class D (combustible metal fires) only. They will not be effective on any other type of fire class.

Water Mist

The water mist extinguisher extinguishes a fire by taking away the heat element of a fire. You should mainly use this extinguisher for Class A fires but it is safe to use the water mist extinguisher for Class C fires as well.

Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical

This extinguisher helps extinguish a fire by interrupting the chemical reaction of a fire and works by creating a barrier between oxygen and fuel on Class A fires.

For reliable fire extinguisher products, contact Fireline Corporation.

Fireline Corporation has provided fire extinguishers and portable extinguisher service for more than 60 years. Our salesmen are trained to access the building occupancy, the potential fire hazards and the anticipated class of fire before recommending the proper type and size of extinguishers required to meet the codes. Our technicians are routinely trained to provide the highest quality service for any type of extinguisher.

We are a Maryland corporation founded in 1947 by John S. Waters. Fireline remains a pioneer in the fledgling fire equipment distribution business and we have grown to encompass all facets of fire protection. Our Totally Integrated Protection Solutions provide you with a wide variety of services. We can design, install, inspect, or service any type of fire protection system. From fire alarm to fire extinguisher, we do it all.

If you have any questions about fire extinguishers, fire equipment, or other Fireline products and services, contact Fireline by calling 410.247.1422 or click here today!

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Source: Types of Fire Extinguishers

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