Types of Fire Extinguishers
Every home, office, and place of business should have at least one portable fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is designed to put out small fires, or contain a fire until the Allouez Fire Department can arrive. Fire extinguishers are classified according to the type of fire they’re designed to put out:
- Class A: Extinguishes ordinary combustibles or fibrous material such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and some plastics.
- Class B: Extinguishes flammable liquids, such as fuel, oil, gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinners, solvents, and propane.
- Class C: Puts out electrical fires, such as in electric motors, appliances, switches, wiring, fuse boxes, power tools, and transformers.
- Class D: Extinguishes combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, aluminum and potassium.
- Class K: Extinguishes fires in cooking oil and grease, such as animal and vegetable fats.
Multi-purpose fire extinguishers
Some fire extinguishers carry multiple ratings. For example a fire extinguisher may be labeled A-B-C, meaning it can be used on most types of fires. This type of fire extinguisher is perfect for the home. When purchasing a fire extinguisher make sure to read the label. Also check to see that the extinguisher has been approved by a nationally-recognized independent testing laboratory.
If you have questions about buying or using a fire extinguisher, call the Allouez Fire Department, (920) 448-2806.
Using a fire extinguisher
Remember the word P.A.S.S.
- P – Pull the pin
- A – Aim low; point the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames
- S – Squeeze trigger slowly while holding the extinguisher upright
- S – Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with the extinguishing agent
Tips for Fighting a Small Fire
- Sound the alarm and get everyone out
- Call 9-1-1
- Only attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher if the fire is small and contained
- Never try to extinguish a fire that is too large
- Make sure you’re safe from hazardous smoke
- If possible, try to confine and contain the fire by closing doors to it
Stop and leave the area immediately if
- The fire begins to spread
- Your path of escape is threatened
- The extinguisher runs out of agent
- The extinguisher is ineffective
- You can no longer safely fight the fire