If you are planning a fire safety plan for your business or household, a great place to start is with choosing a fire extinguisher. It is important to make sure that you learn about the different types of fire extinguishers, what they do, and how to use them.
The Types of Fire Extinguishers
There are four types, or ‘classes’ of fire extinguishers. Each class is specialized to put out a specific type of fire.
- Class A: Used to extinguish fires caused by ordinary combustibles such as trash, wood, paper, and textiles.
- Class B: Used to extinguish fires caused by flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, oil, and even paint.
- Class C: Used to extinguish fires caused by live electrical equipment. When a fire sparks from a short circuit or a kitchen appliance, the constant source of electricity continues to fuel the fire. Class C fire extinguishers contain elements that lack conductive properties, effectively preventing the fire from spreading.
- Class D: Used to extinguish fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, and sodium. Class D extinguishers contain an extinguishing medium that does not react with the burning metal.
Today’s most widely used and popular fire extinguisher is the multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher, also known as ABC dry chemical. It is effective at putting out class A, B, and C fires. For your home it is recommended to select a multi-purpose extinguisher in a size that is capable of putting out small fires, but that is not too heavy to properly handle. It is also strongly recommended to have at least one available on each floor of your home.
Operating Your Fire Extinguisher
Aside from knowing which type of fire extinguisher would best suit your needs, it is absolutely crucial to know how to operate your fire extinguisher properly, safely, and effectively. Most fire extinguishers operate using the P.A.S.S. technique.
- Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher nozzle away from you as you do this.
- Aim low. Always point the extinguisher nozzle (horn, or hose) at the base of the fire.
- Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly to release the extinguishing agent.
- Sweep the nozzle from side to side until the fire appears to be out, then watch the area to ensure that the fire does not reignite. If it does, repeat steps 2, 3, and 4.
Call SERVPRO of Media and SERVPRO of Central Delaware County if you are ever faced with a fire to your home or business. We will guide you through the process and work to restore your property to make it “Like it never even happened.”