A fire extinguisher comes in handy whenever unexpected fire springs up. While one may find that all fire extinguishers look the same, knowing the different fire extinguisher types would help one in identifying which to use on certain occasions.
Identifying Burning Material
Knowing the type of material that is burning would help classify which of the fire extinguisher types would be appropriate to use. Class A objects would include solid material such as paper, wood, and mostly plastics. Class B would have combustible and flammable liquids such as petrol, gasoline oil, and kerosene, among others. Combustible gases that are issued such as methane, butane, and propane would fall in Class C.
Fires that involve metals are part of the Class D category. Those that were caused by electrical appliances, faulty wiring, circuit breakers, as well as outlets are of the Class E type. Cooking oil and fat as well as other kitchen cooking material, which are of the greasy kind, would be found under the Class F kind. More detailed information will usually be covered in fire extinguisher training.
Choose from the Fire Extinguisher Types
Water Extinguishers – These are considered to be the most common type of fire extinguishers. They are also called Air Pressurized Water or APW extinguishers. These are only suitable for Class A fires, and must not be used for ones that involve electricity. They are not to be used for Class D fires or any other fires that include combustible liquid or gas.
Foam Fire Extinguishers – This kind of fire extinguisher is actually a version of a water extinguisher, only made more efficient as it employs the use of foam. These can be used for Class A and Class B fires, and would work well with quelling such incidents. They are not to be used for Class D fires as they still employ the use of water. However, they are a lot safer than water extinguishers if you accidentally use them on Class D fires.
Dry Chemical Extinguishers – They are considered to be very versatile among the fire extinguisher types. They can work for Class A, Class B, and Class C fires, as they contain foam and/or powder that are pressurized with nitrogen. It has two types, the BC which has sodium bicarbonate and the ABC, with monoammonium phosphate. The use of this fire extinguisher should entail one to cleaning residue afterwards, as they have very corrosive properties.
CO2 Extinguishers – Of all the fire extinguisher types, this one is ideal for Class D fires which normally involve burning electrical appliances. It can also be used on Class B fires but they might not fully kill the fire afterwards.