Types of Fire Extinguishers

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Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are divided into four classifications, according to the type of fire they are designed to eliminate. Extinguishers are available in individual classifications and combinations. Some also have a numerical rating to indicate the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. There are many types of fire extinguishers, some more common than others.


Ordinary Combustibles

Class A fire extinguishers are water extinguishers and are designed for fires involving paper, wood, cardboard and plastic.


Class B extinguishers work on fires caused by flammable or combustible fluids such as oil, kerosene, grease and gasoline.

Electrical Equipment

Class C fire extinguishers are designed for fires involving electrical equipment.


Combustible Metals

Class D fires involve combustible metals, typically in chemical laboratories.

Dry-Chemical Extinguishers

Dry-chemical fire extinguishers can be used for fires in class A, B and C. The dry chemicals are foam or powder of sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate or monoammonium phosphate.


CO2 Extinguishers

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are suitable for class B and C fires, and unlike the dry-chemical types, they do not leave any damaging residue.

Halon Extinguishers

Halon gas extinguishers are good for using on electrical equipment, and they also do not leave residue.