Keeping a fire extinguisher in your home will allow you to react quickly to battle small fires before they are able to spread and not only cause significant damage to your home but also put the safety of you and your loved ones at risk. However, in order for a fire extinguisher to be effective, you must first ensure that you are using the right type of extinguisher for the job. This is because not all extinguishers will be able to effectively put out all fires. In fact, using the wrong extinguisher can actually make a fire much worse.
Determining what type of fire extinguisher you need will require you to first identify what type of fire you are working to put out. Below you will learn more about the different classifications of fires and the fire extinguishers that are used to put each of them out.
Class A Fires
Class A fires are the most common type of fires found in homes or businesses. This class of fire is caused by combustible materials such as paper, wood, furniture, fabrics, and other common household materials. Since this class of fire is easily extinguished using water, Class A fire extinguishers will typically be filled with a mixture of pressurized water and air. They may also include a foaming soap product that allows for the fire to be smothered and extinguished faster.
Class B Fires
Class B fires are those which are caused by either flammable liquids such as gasoline or flammable gases such as propane or butane. While these types of fires are not nearly as common in a residential setting, you will still need to keep an appropriate fire extinguisher on hand if you store any of these types of combustible materials on your property. In order to effectively fight a Class B fire, you will need what is known as a dry chemical fire extinguisher.
Class C Fires
Class C fires are the result of electrical wires or outlets burning. These fires can be effectively fought using the same style of extinguisher that is used to fight a Class B fire.
Class K Fires
Class K fires are those which are caused by common cooking oils. Effectively fighting this type of fire will require the use of a wet chemical fire extinguisher that makes use of potassium acetate in order to put out the fire. Since using an extinguisher that is designed for Class A, B, or C fires on this type of fire can cause it to spread far more quickly, it is essential to make sure you always have the proper type of fire extinguisher on hand in your kitchen in case a grease fire does occur.
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