Fire Prevention Tips: Fire Extinguishers – All you need to know

There are 5 different types of fire extinguishers available on the market today. Each of these has its own specific use. Knowing the correct type of fire extinguisher to use is vital in an emergency. It’s also important to learn how to use it correctly so you don’t hurt yourself or others while operating it. Here are the different kinds of fire extinguishers there are and how to use them.

The five main types of fire are: 

Class A

These include fires caused by anything which is easily combustible, such as paper, fabric, wood, cloth or other materials. 

Class B 

These types of fires originate from flammable liquids such as turpentine, paint, petrol etc. 

Class C 

Class C Fires are generated by flammable gases like methane, butane, or hydrogen, and other gasses.

Class D 

These fires are caused by combustible metals like potassium, aluminium, or magnesium and are more common in industrial settings.

Class E

Fires caused by cooking oils.

So now that you know the different types of fire you may encounter, it would help to know which extinguisher to reach for in any given situation, right? Let’s take a look at the different types of Fire extinguishers available today. 

The five types of fire extinguishers are: 

Water Extinguisher

Water extinguishers are a critical safety device for any home. They have a red label and a class A rating. They are suitable for fighting any fires which involve solid combustibles such as paper, wood or textiles. Some recent models are safe on electrical equipment, but in general care must be taken near any electrical equipment and it is advised only to use if the device has been di-electrically tested.

Foam Extinguisher

Foam extinguishers work by combining Water and ‘Aqueous Film Forming Foam’ (this is why they are also known as AFFF foam extinguishers). The cooling effect is similar to water based extinguishers, thereby fighting the fire the same way – lowering the temperature. They can be used on any Class A or Class B fires.

Dry Powder Extinguisher

The power of a dry powder extinguisher is immense, but you can also use it for daily tasks. Dry powder fire extinguishers extinguish the fire primarily by interrupting the chemical reaction taking place and cutting off the oxygen supply. They can be used on Class A, B & C fires.

Carbon Dioxide Extinguisher

Carbon Dioxide extinguishers are designed for Class B and C. (flammable liquid and electrical) fires only. Carbon dioxide extinguishes work by somthering the fire. Thereby removing the oxygen. The carbon dioxide is also very cold as it comes out of the extinguisher, so it drastically reduces temperatures as well.

Wet Chemical Extinguisher

A wet chemical extinguisher is a necessary tool in any workplace. They are usually supplied with a long tube/hose which helps to deploy the foam. The wet chemical forms a thick soapy foam-like blanket over the surface of the burning oil/fat which stops oxygen from reaching the fire and smothers the flames.

Fire Prevention Services in Ireland

At Firestoppers, we believe that prevention is the only key. We are Ireland’s premier fire prevention company and have worked with some of Ireland’s biggest contractors. If you have a project in need of fire prevention services, please don’t hesitate to get in contact with us today and a member of staff will be happy to help in any way we can.

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