Types of fire extinguishers

There are about seven types of fire extinguishers currently available in the market. These fire extinguishers are designed with certain aspects to suit the different classes of fire. All fires are different from each other. They vary from each other depending upon the type of ignition and the materials and combustible components involved in a particular fire accident. The properties of various elements that provoke a fire must be considered while choosing the right fire extinguisher. With that in mind, let us have a look at the various types of fire before studying about the types of extinguishers.

Types of fire:

Class A: These are caused by regular combustible components like paper, plastic, fabric, wood etc.

Class B: Flammable liquids like paraffin, petrol, gasoline and flammable gases like butane, propane, methane, liquid petroleum gas etc. come under Class B.

Class C: Al kinds of energized electrical and electronic equipments like home appliances, transformers and motors belong to Class C.

Class D: All combustible metals like aluminum, copper, potassium, sodium etc. form Class D.

Class K: All fires caused by cooking oils, vegetable and animal fat come under Class K.

Now let us see the different types of fire extinguishers. No same extinguisher can be used for all types of fire. It could be either ineffective or too dangerous.

Types of fire extinguishers:

 Water and foam extinguisher:

These extinguishers must be used only for Class A type of fire and in no case be used for any other class. If ignored, it could spread the flame and cause shocks in case of Class C fire caused by energized power equipments.

Carbon dioxide extinguisher:

These are used for Class B and C fires and are ineffective if used for Class A type of fires.

Dry Chemical extinguisher:

They are multipurpose extinguishers used for Class A, B and C type of fires. If used for other classes, it could re-ignite the fire.

 Cartridge operated dry chemical:

This used for Class A, B and C type of fires. Incorrect usage will result in the re-ignition of the fire after it is quenched initially.

Wet Chemical extinguisher:

This is a new addition that is used to extinguish Class K type of fire. This is a common sight in large scale commercial kitchens.

Clean Agent extinguisher:

These are Halogenated extinguishers containing halon agents and halocarbon agents. These are used for Class A, B and C fires.

Dry Powder extinguisher:

Though it is similar to dry chemical, it is used only for Class D fires as they are ineffective on all the other type of fires.

Water Mist extinguisher:

They are a recent invention and are used to extinguish Class A and Class C type of fires.

These are the different types of fire extinguishers that are used based upon the different types of fires.