A fire extinguisher is a crucial piece of safety equipment to have at home or in the workplace. It can put out a small fire or suppress it until the fire department arrives, saving lives and property.
However, not all fire extinguishers are the same. There are 4 types of fire extinguishers available on the market, and each is designed to fight different types of fires. It’s important to understand the differences so you can avoid injury and/or damage to your property.
What are the 4 types of fire extinguishers? Read on to learn more.
The 4 Types of Extinguishers
These extinguishers have a red label and are used for class A fires, which can be caused by paper, wood, straw or rubber. These extinguishers cool the fire by soaking it and the burning materials with water, which helps to extinguish the flames and absorb heat from the burning objects. It’s also the most-used fire extinguisher. The 4 types of water extinguishers are water jet, water spray, water mist and water with additives.
Foam extinguishers have a cream label and can be used for class A and B fires, which are typically caused by petrol, diesel, wood or paper. These extinguishers contain a foam that works to smother the flames and seal in flammable vapors, which starves the fire of fuel. The foam also has a cooling effect since it’s mixed with water.
- Dry Powder
Dry powder extinguishers can be used on class A, B and C fires, which is also why they are known as ABC extinguishers. They have a blue label and should not be used in small, confined spaces because the dry powder can be easily inhaled. Dry powder extinguishers work to blanket a fire and suffocate it. They can also be used on electrical devices.
- Wet Chemical
Wet chemical extinguishers can be used on class F fires, which usually involve cooking oils and fats including olive oil, lard and butter. This type of extinguisher releases a liquid mist that cools and smothers the fire. It also forms a soap-like solution to seal the surface of the oil, preventing reignition. These extinguishers have a yellow label and are ideal for a kitchen setting.
Types of Fires and Extinguishers
- Class A: Type A fire extinguishers can put out fires started by combustible materials, such as wood, paper, plastics and fabric.
- Class B: Type B fire extinguishers can be used on flammable liquids including grease, oil and gasoline.
- Class C: Type C fire extinguishers are designed for electrically energized fires.
- Class D: Type D fire extinguishers are suitable for use on combustible metals such as magnesium and zinc.
Fires can be prevented; however, it is essential to have the right safety equipment on hand — such as extinguishers and fans — to eliminate the threat of a fire and any harmful gas. Blowhard Fans has extensive expertise in designing and manufacturing positive pressure ventilation (PPV) fans for the firefighting industry. We take pride in helping emergency personnel do their jobs as safely and effectively as possible.
To learn more about our offerings, get in touch with us today.