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Classes of Extinguishers

 

There are basically four different types or classes of fire extinguishers, each of which extinguishes specific types of fire. Newer fire extinguishers use a picture/labeling system to designate which types of fires they are to be used on. Older fire extinguishers are labeled with colored geometrical shapes with letter designations. Both of these types of labels are shown below with the description of the different classes of extinguishers.

Additionally, Class A and Class B fire extinguishers have a numerical rating which is based on tests conducted by Underwriters Laboratories that are designed to determine the extinguishing potential for each size and type of extinguisher. Click on any of the topics listed below for additional information that may be helpful to know.

   Class A
A fire extinguisher labeled with letter "A" is for use on Class A fires. Class A fires are fires that involve ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
 
   Class B
A fire extinguisher labeled with letter "B" is for use on Class B fires. Class B fires are fires that involve flammable and combustible liquids such as gasoline, alcohol, diesel oil, oil-based paints, lacquers, etc., and flammable gases.
 
   Class C
A fire extinguisher labeled with letter "C" is for use on Class C fires. Class C fires are fires that involve energized electrical equipment.
 
   Class D
A fire extinguisher labeled with letter "D" is for use on Class D fires. Class D fires are fires that involve combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium and sodium.
 
   Class K
A fire extinguisher labeled with letter "K" is for use on Class K fires. Class K fires are fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. This is for commercial kitchens, including those found in restaurants, cafeterias, and caterers.
 
     


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