The Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers have become the most common used form of fire retardants or in every place prone to fire. It is a common knowledge that fire can arise from different sources which require different labeling of the extinguishers to capture their capabilities. Pictorial symbols are therefore used to designate the different types of fire extinguishers and their abilities. The multi-purpose fire extinguisher has more than one picture.

Human safety is very critical in a workplace and therefore fire prevention is very vital. Smoke alarms and fire sprinklers cannot be relied for fire safety. Smoke alarm can be generated as a result of a person smoking a cigar in the working place. Sprinkler systems on the other hand may damage the electrical equipments and some important documents after putting off the fire. It is therefore prudent to say that fire extinguishers are reliable to keep of the fire in the long run.

For example, since Class A fire extinguishers are specifically designed to put off fires involving organic products and plastics, they must be located adjacent to the products in question. Class C fire extinguishers are very critical for assuring that electrical safety in any workplace is guaranteed.

Presently, there are only six classes of fire extinguishers that can be found in the office, commercial facility or a factory. They are often located in an ideal place suitable to be used when putting off the fire in case of an emergency. So, what are the different types of fire extinguishers? Read on to find out.

Classes of Fire Extinguishers

  • Class A – These fire extinguishers are suitable to be used in putting off the fire arising generally on wood products, plastics, rubber, cloth, and papers. These materials usually take some time to glow with embers. The fire extinguisher in this class uses water to put off the fire and holds a numerical rating scale showing the amount of water it has at ago. The normal holding capacity ranges from 1 to 40 U.S. gallons
  • Class B – They are specifically used against flammable materials such as kerosene, oil, gasoline, and grease. The extinguishers may contain carbon dioxide, dry chemical or aqueous film that forms foam. They have a numerical rating scale which represents that area it cover and can be from 1 to 640 sq ft.
  • Class C – Class C extinguishers are best suitable for use on flames arising from the electric appliances, equipments, or other tools connected with electricity and energized. Electrical fires are always dangerous and therefore, carbon dioxide, halon or any dry chemical is best suitable for use. They have a numerical rating. As a general rule, they have non-conductive extinguishing agent for the reason that they involved in putting off electrical fire.
  • Class D – Class D extinguishers are normally found in factories working with combustible metals such as titanium, magnesium, sodium and copper metals. They are specifically designed to be used on flammable metals mentioned. These extinguishers use powder and have a numerical rating showing the amount of powder they have.
  • Class K – The fire extinguishers in this category are normally used in putting off the fire that originates from the cooking oils, oils related to cooking oils, and animal fats especially in the cooking appliances. They are usually found in the commercial kitchens such as that of the restaurants and cafeterias. Class K extinguishers contains the potassium acetate as the main element to put off the fire.

Multi-purpose extinguishers

This is a unique Class and encompasses Classes ABC, BC, AK, and BC. They are used on multiple fires.

Labeling of fire extinguishers has been altered these days to display pictorial symbols as a substitute of letters. The multi-purpose units will comprise more than one depiction to denote its abilities. Unfortunately, there is no symbol for Class D.

The Occupational Safety Health Administration (OSHA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) and the American National Standards institute (ANSI) each possess their own procedure for fire and flame prevention and protection.

It should be noted that the larger the fire extinguisher, clearly the larger the flame you can combat. On the other hand, the heavier extinguisher makes it hard to move around for the duration of a fire.

The location of a fire extinguisher in your workplace is vital, since most inhabitants grab the nearby one, assuming that it is the appropriate for the flame at hand. It is therefore important to construct a building with spacious corridors.

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