March 7, 2021

Choosing the Right Extinguisher for the Fire You’re Fighting

2 min read

Whether it was a firefighter visiting your school or a workplace safety training you were put through, you’ve likely participated in a demonstration of how to use a portable fire extinguisher. But did you know that there are multiple classifications of fires, and different extinguishers must be used to put them out? Knowing what kind of fire extinguishers New York to use on what kind of fire is just as important as knowing how to use the extinguisher itself.

Class A Fires

Class A fires are created from common combustibles, such as paper, wood, and cloth. An easy way to remember what kind of material is involved in a Class A fire is to think about whether or not the material burning will create ash. An ABC fire extinguisher – the most common variety – uses a chemical powder to put out fires and is the best option for putting out a Class A fire.

Class B Fires

Class B fires are fires whose sources are flammable liquids, such as gasoline or paint. Though an ABC fire extinguisher can be used on a Class B fire, a foam fire extinguisher is often more effective in smothering combustible liquids.

Class C Fires

Class C fires are fires caused by electrical current. It is very important not to use water to extinguish an electrical fire; because water conducts electricity, using water to put out an electrical fire could lead to electrical shock or even electrocution. An ABC fire extinguisher can be used on a Class C fire, but a better option is a COextinguisher. These extinguishers do not leave a powdery residue like ABC extinguishers, making them preferable for use on electric equipment that may be sensitive to particles.

While there are other classifications of fires and fire extinguishers, these are the most common kinds of fires in homes and workplaces. It is always wise to consider what kind of fires may occur near you and to prepare to fight them using the best extinguisher for those classes of fire.

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