Published On: Tue, May 2nd, 2017

Know The Type of Fire Before Trying to Extinguish It

Having a fire extinguisher in your place of business may make you feel safe. However, unless you know the use of the right type of fire extinguisher, it does not help you at all. Fire extinguishers contain different kinds of chemicals that fight specific types of fires produced from various materials. Solids, gasses, and fuels are the common causes of fire, but which extinguisher will work well will depend on identifying the nature of fire and its source. Let us explore some of the important aspects of it to gain further knowledge.

The principle of fire extinguishers

All fire extinguishers that you find at redtruckfireco.com have been designed based on the principle of fighting the fire and dousing the flame by cutting off one of the ingredients that have caused it in the first place. Refer to the fire triangle, the universal symbol of fire that represents the elements of fire. Imagine a triangle with red arms and a white space within.  Fuel is at the base of the triangle, oxygen and heat are the two arms of the triangle, and the white space included between the arms represents chemical reaction.  When oxygen, heat, and fuel fuse together, it results in a chemical reaction that gives rise to fire. Cutting off any of these elements can extinguish the fire.

photo/ DirtyOpi via pixabay

Classification of fire

  • Class A – Ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, fabric, plastics, and trash can turn into fuel and give rise to fire. It is categorized under Class A. This type of fire can occur in households or any other place and can usually be controlled and extinguished by spraying water or using monoammonium phosphate.
  • Class B – Oils and paints, made of flammable chemicals, can give rise to class B fire. Flammable liquids like gasoline and kerosene are also responsible for similar fire. Such fires are common in industries dealing with flammable liquids. This fire can be extinguished by removing oxygen and arresting the chemical reaction that causes fire.
  • Class C – Electrical fires come under this category that can happen from energized equipment like transformers and motors.  Nonconductive chemicals are used to fight this fire after cutting off the source of electrical energy.
  • Class D – Certain combustible metals are responsible for this kind of fire. Aluminum, magnesium, potassium and titanium can behave as fuels and start a fire that you can only extinguish using dry powder agent.
  • Class K – When there is a fire resulting from liquids used in cooking, it comes under this category. From vegetable oils to cooking fats to grease anything can turn into fuel in the kitchen. Fire extinguishers with wet chemicals can deal effectively with such fire.

Consider the threats of fire in your area and read the label on the fire extinguisher to be sure that it is compatible for fighting the types of fire that can occur at the place before deciding to use it.

About the author – Daniel Adams is a Safety Officer at a leading MNC. He is an engineer by qualification and has specialized in Safety Engineering. He has written many blogs for redtruckfireco.com. Photography attracts him, and he is also a good singer.

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