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Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire Classifications & Extinguisher Types Required for Each

Knowing which type of fire extinguisher to use, and how each one works, is crucial in minimizing the impact of a building fire. This chart identifies various fire extinguishers and the corresponding class of fire it can be used for. ABC fire extinguishers are the most commonly used fire extinguisher type.

ABC Fire Extinguishers

ABC fire extinguishers, also known as dry chemical fire extinguishers, are used in most commercial businesses, as they are suitable for use on Class A, B and C class fires. This is the only type of fire extinguisher that can be used on Class C fires involving flammable gases, like butane and methane.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers

Co2 extinguishers, less commonly referred to as carbon dioxide fire extinguishers, are effective on flammable liquid fires (Class B) and energized electrical fires, by removing oxygen from the fire. Co2 fire extinguishers should only be used indoors, on small fires, and are not suitable for Class A fires.


K-Class Fire Extinguishers

Class K fire extinguishers, also known as wet chemical fire extinguishers, contain a new agent that was developed for high efficiency commercial deep fryers. Class K extinguishers remove the heat of the fire triangle, and create a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements to prevent the fire from reigniting.

Halon Fire Extinguishers

Halon fire extinguishers, known also as “clean agent extinguishers” are made up of a liquefied, compressed gas that stops the spread of fire by chemically disrupting combustion. Halon 1211 (a liquid streaming agent) and Halon 1301 (a gaseous flooding agent) leave no residue. They’re also safe for human exposure. Halon is rated for flammable liquid fires and electrical fires, but can also be effective on class A fires.


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