If you have a fire or water emergency, please call us now at (618) 464-0300

To have the optimal experience while using this site, you will need to update your browser. You may want to try one of the following alternatives:

Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Different Types of Fires and How to Extinguish Them

12/13/2023 (Permalink)

Kitchen with fire damage. Did you know that fires come in various forms?

Did you know that fires come in various forms? Knowing how to properly extinguish them is essential for your safety and that of your property. Understanding the different classes of fires and the suitable extinguishing methods can make a significant difference during an emergency. In this blog, we'll explore the various types of fires and the best ways to extinguish them, so you can be prepared to take swift and effective action when needed.

Class A Fire: Combustible Materials

Class A fires involve common combustible materials like wood, paper, cloth, and plastics. These are some of the most frequent fires encountered in homes and businesses. To extinguish them:

Use Water, Powder, or Foam: Water, powder, and foam extinguishers are highly effective extinguishing agents for Class A fires. A steady stream directed onto the base of the flames can quickly smother and cool the fire, bringing it under control.

Class B Fire: Flammable Liquids and Gases

Class B fires encompass flammable liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, propane, and solvents. These fires are more challenging to extinguish than Class A fires due to the combustible nature of the materials involved. To extinguish them:

Use a Fire Extinguisher: For Class B fires, it's crucial to use specialized fire extinguishers designed to smother the flames. CO2 extinguishers, foam extinguishers, or dry chemical extinguishers are suitable options. These agents work by removing the oxygen and interrupting the fire's chemical reaction.

Class C Fire: Electrical Fires

Class C fires involve electrical equipment or wiring. Using water or traditional extinguishers is not safe for these fires, as it can lead to electric shock and further hazards. To extinguish them:

  1. De-energize Electrical Sources: The primary step in tackling a Class C fire is to shut off the power source. Cutting off the electricity supply eliminates the fire's fuel source.
  2. Use a Class C-rated Fire Extinguisher: Once the power source is off, you can use a Class C-rated fire extinguisher. These extinguishers contain non-conductive agents that can safely extinguish electrical fires.

Class D Fire: Combustible Metals

Class D fires involve combustible metals like magnesium, lithium, and titanium, commonly found in industrial settings. These fires can be particularly challenging to extinguish. To extinguish them:

Use a Specialty Extinguisher: Class D fires require a special dry powder extinguisher designed for metal fires. These extinguishers are essential in environments where metal machining and production take place.

Class K Fire: Kitchen Fires

Class K fires are specific to cooking oils and fats, which are commonly found in kitchens. These fires can be intense and challenging to extinguish with traditional methods. To extinguish them:

Use a Wet Chemical Extinguisher: A Class K fire extinguisher that uses a specialized wet chemical is the most effective choice for kitchen fires. This extinguishing agent not only cools the flames but also reacts with the cooking oil to create a soap-like substance that seals the surface, preventing re-ignition.

General Fire Safety Tips

  • Always ensure you have a working fire extinguisher in your home or business. Check the pressure gauge regularly to confirm its readiness.
  • Familiarize yourself with the type of extinguisher and the class of fires it is designed to handle. The class is typically labeled on the extinguisher.
  • In case of a fire, call 911 immediately, even if you believe you can control it. Fires can escalate rapidly, and it's safer to have professional help on the way.
  • Use the P.A.S.S. technique when operating a fire extinguisher: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side across the base of the fire.

Understanding the different classes of fires and the appropriate methods to extinguish them is vital for your safety and the safety of your property. Being prepared and knowing how to respond in the event of a fire can make all the difference. Keep fire safety equipment accessible, know how to use it, and always have a fire escape plan in place to protect yourself and your loved ones. Fire safety is a responsibility we all share, and it's crucial for the well-being of our homes and businesses.

Other News

View Recent Posts