Fire extinguishers are useful for homes, offices, and vehicles. You can use them to stop fire from spreading, reduce damage, and save lives. However, various forms of fires need diverse kinds of extinguishers, which means using the wrong one may do more harm than good. For one, the fire will spread if you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher.
Heres a quick rundown of the different kinds of fire extinguishers to help you choose the right one for your property.
Class A extinguishers are ideal for class A fires which involve ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, simple plastics, and cardboard. Class A extinguishers are easy to use. You just need to fill them with water under increased pressure, which will remove the oxygen to congest the fire. Usually, class A extinguishers can specify the amount of pressurized water they contain.
Type B fires involve igneous combustibles like oil, gasoline, and grease. Spreading water on a type B fire will spread the combustibles all over the area, causing the fire to grow. Class B extinguishers contain a chemical mixture that stifles the fire safely. Their packaging usually shows the size of the area they can extinguish, which may vary depending on the fires intensity and the materials involved. The K fire is the class B fires subclass, that poses a big issue in commercial kitchens.
Type C extinguishers are suitable for electrical fires. They have non-conductive fire retardants to overpower the fire. Keep in mind that you shouldn’t use water on type C fire, as it can lead to severe shock and/or even death. You should keep type C extinguishers in your car, home, office, or other areas with many electrical tools.
The class D fire is more common in laboratories and factories, as it involves flammable metals. While companies mostly sell infused extinguishers, like BC or ABC extinguishers, type D extinguishers are always in pure form. Dont mix type D extinguishers with others, because these use dry powder while B or C extinguishers use dry chemicals.
Fire extinguishing units are prone to damages, so you must handle them with care. Likewise, extinguishers may lose pressure in the long run, regardless of whether you’ve used them or not. They need regular inspection, and fire departments provide this service for free. You can bring your used extinguishers to a fire station in your area to recharge them using the appropriate materials. Keep your extinguishers in the visible areas in your home or office, and make sure they’re always ready for use.