Fire extinguishers are very important to have in your home. A fire extinguisher could be the factor that saves your home from severe fire damage. But, what type of extinguisher do you need for your home? The type of fire extinguisher depends on the type of fire. Using the wrong type of fire extinguisher for the fire could actually counteract as an accelerant and cause more damage. Learn the basics about fire extinguisher safety and know which extinguisher to use in case of a fire emergency in your home.

Fire extinguishers are classified by both a letter and number rating. There are four categories based on each different types of fire. The number that is associated with the letter will tell you the extinguishing power of that individual extinguisher. The higher the number, the more fire fighting power the extinguisher will have.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Class A

These fire extinguishers are used for fires involving any combustible materials. Combustible materials include paper, wood, cardboard, plastics, and fabric. These materials make up most of the materials in a home, which is why these can these are very common in homes. Water extinguishers are used for Class A fires only. Dry chemical extinguishers, filled with foam or powder, can be used for Class A fires. When a fire extinguisher is labeled ABC, this indicates that the extinguisher is multipurpose for Class A, B, and C fires.

Class B

Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids. Gasoline, kerosene, grease, and oil are the most common types of flammable liquids. These types of extinguishers are commonly used in kitchens because of grease fires that start on the stove top. Leaving pots and pans unattended on the stove is one of the ways that grease and oil fires start.

Dry chemical extinguishers are used for Class B and C fires. Carbon dioxide extinguishers can also be used for Class B and C fires. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are commonly the more popular choice, because they don’t leave a residue. Depending on what you are extinguishing, you might want to choose the carbon dioxide option to prevent damaging with the leftover residue.

Class C

Electrical equipment fires are fires that start from of appliances, wires, circuit breakers and outlets. It is important to remember to never try to put out an electrical fire with water. Water used on Class C fires can cause electrical shock.

Class D

Class D extinguishers are mostly used in chemical laboratories. Class D fire extinguishers can be used to put out fires that start from combustible metals. You should never use an air pressurized water extinguisher on Class D fires because it will cause the flames to spread and make the fire bigger.

Class K

Class K fires are common in restaurant kitchens because they usually involve cooking oils.

Know Your Extinguishers

It is important to know your extinguishers so you can react quickly and appropriately in case of a fire emergency. Using the wrong extinguisher poses many safety hazards for you and your property. Be educated before extinguishing. If your residential or commercial property experiences a fire, call ServiceMaster by Rice for professional fire restoration services.