Use the Right Fire Extinguisher

A long time ago, the fire protection industry recognized the need to classify extinguishers according to the many kinds of burning materials encountered in a fire. For example, Class A, water-type fire extinguishers cannot be used on the electrical fires because the extinguisher operator could be seriously injured by the conduction of electricity by the stream of water from their extinguisher. Instead, a Class C fire extinguisher will work best. Another example, a raging fire in a manufacturing plant with flammable metals, such as magnesium, should be fought with a Class D fire extinguisher (see chart below).

Classes of Fire

Knowing the type of fuel helps determine what kind of fire extinguisher to use and how to use it. There are five common classes of fires:

Class Fuel
A Ordinary combustibles such as paper, cloth, wood, rubber, and many plastics
B Flammable liquids (e.g., oils, gasoline) and combustible liquids (e.g., charcoal lighter fluid, kerosene)
C Energized electrical equipment (e.g., wiring, motors) – when the electricity is turned off, the fire becomes a Class A fire
D Combustible metals (e.g., aluminum, magnesium, titanium)
K Vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances
Source: U.S. Fire Administration

For more information, contact our office at 614-754-1393 or send us an email at ESC@Tpromo.Com.

Additional Resources:

Allan Colombo, ESC Media Director
Allan Colombo, ESC Media Director
Email: ESC@Tpromo.Com

If you have any questions, please use the handy form below. I look forward to serving your fire extinguisher needs. –John Larkin, ESC Senior Partner.


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