There are so many fire extinguishers on the market, selecting the proper one might get a little confusing. Purchasing the correct fire extinguisher can save lives and property. It’s recommend for everyone to have at least one fire extinguisher at home and is required by OSHA to have them present at the workplace.
Before selecting a fire extinguisher you should know that not all fires are the same. Different fuels create different fires and require different types of fire extinguishers. Fires are divided into five classes, Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D and Class K. Everyone should become familiar with these classes and their symbols.
In order for a fire to exist there must but four elements present: oxygen, heat, fuel, and a chemical reaction. By removing one of these four elements you will extinguish the fire.
CLASS A – Water and Foam Extinguishers, Water Mist Extinguishers, Wet Chemical Extinguishers, Dry Chemical Extinguishers
CLASS A:B – Water and Foam Extinguishers, Dry Chemical Extinguishers
CLASS A:B:C – Halogenated or Clean Agent Extinguishers, Dry Chemical Extinguishers, Halon Extinguishers
CLASS A:C – Water Mists, Dry Chemical,
CLASS B:C – Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers, Dry Chemical Extinguishers, Halogenated or Clean Agent Extinguishers, Halon
CLASS D – Dry Powder Extinguishers
CLASS A:K – Wet Chemical Extinguishers
Seems pretty easy right? The type of fire extinguisher you need will be determined by the fire class you will be extinguishing. Please keep in mind some types of fire extinguishing agents can be used on more than one class of fire. Others have warnings where it would be dangerous for you to use a particular fire extinguishing agent.