Different Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Uses

Fire safety. It may not cross your mind much, but making sure every home and business has a fire safety plan in place
is essential. Fire extinguishers are fantastic tools for battling small fires before they transform into large, structural fires that cannot be easily contained. To use fire extinguishers most effectively, it is best to familiarize yourself with the proper techniques and types first. Since practice makes perfect, it is strongly suggested you take a training course on how to properly use these devices in various fire emergency scenarios. Depending on the type of fire you are dealing with, there are a number of fire extinguisher models and fire suppression agents that will work best. Getz Fire Equipment is your premier fire and safety equipment provider, serving both Iowa and Illinois. Our selection of fire extinguishers and fire safety equipment is massive—supplemented by professional fire extinguisher training courses to help everyone feel prepared.

Organized by Class

Categorized into classes A-D and K, fire extinguishers are organized using a simple system that makes it easy to identify each type. Some extinguishers offer multiple levels of fire suppression power, and can be classified into multiple classes, such as a class A-B extinguisher, or class A-B-C. Here is how it all breaks-down:

Class A: This is likely the fire extinguisher you picture in your mind. Designed for fires started by conventional combustibles, such as wood and paper, this fire extinguisher is found anywhere fire safety is needed, but no special hazards are present.

Class B: These fire extinguishers utilize a special chemical fire suppressant to specifically target liquid fires such as oil and gasoline. Since water-based fire suppressants are ineffective and dangerous with these unique hazards, it is necessary to use a specially formulated fire-fighting agent that will smother the flames, without the risk of spreading.

Class C: Designed for use on fires with live electrical equipment, these fire extinguishers suppress the flames using non-conductive chemical agents. If you were to use the improper class of fire extinguisher during a live electrical fire scenario, you could potentially electrocute yourself and/or create an additional spark that fuels the fire.

Class D: A more unique class of fire suppressant, these fire extinguishers are used to fight extremely hot fires that occur on combustible metals, such as titanium, sodium, or magnesium. If your business or research efforts use these materials in variable conditions, it is valuable to have a Class D fire extinguisher at hand. If you attempt to use another class of fire extinguisher on a combustible metal, you greatly run the risk of spreading and intensifying the flames.

Class K: Similar to Class B fire extinguishers, Class K models are designed to fight liquid and solid fires started by cooking media. Igniters such as fats, oils, and grease can be exceptionally dangerous if not handled using the proper chemical agents and techniques. Restaurants around the United States require Class K fire extinguishers be present throughout the kitchen area.

Be prepared for any small-fire scenario through the purchase of a fire extinguisher from Getz Fire Equipment. Offering every class of fire extinguisher in various sizes, we can help guide you to the perfect selection, and even teach you how to properly use it in real-world examples. Don’t let your fire safety plan go by the wayside! Keep your business or family safe and prepared with a fire extinguisher from Getz Fire. Call us today at 800-747-3473, or check out our website to browse our impressive inventory.