Homeowners need to know how to use a fire extinguisher. Here is what you need to know about extinguishing fires. This information also benefits renters and those living independently for the first time.
The Types of Fire Extinguishers
No matter where you live, knowing what type of fire extinguisher to buy is essential. The right way to know which extinguisher to buy is to learn the different types and what fire classes each one works best in. Read below to learn more about the types of extinguishers.
What Creates a Fire?
Three elements create a fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel. The elements form the fire triangle. The goal is to eliminate one or two parts of the fire triangle to stop a fire from starting.
Fire Class A
Fire class A is a fire caused by everyday items, like plastics, wood, paper, cloth, and trash. If any of these were to catch fire, you’d likely use the traditional water or foam extinguisher. The foam or water extinguisher removes the heat from the fire.
Another is the dry and wet chemical extinguishers. This one is familiar because it uses a chemical reaction when interacting with the fire. This type takes away the oxygen and fuel element of a fire. The wet fire extinguisher prevents fires from reigniting because of its wetness profile.
Fire Class B
Class B concerns flammable liquids and gases like gasoline, paint, and propane. The extinguisher you’d use can either be a CO2, dry chemical, clean agent, or cartridge-operated dry chemical extinguisher. The CO2 extinguisher removes oxygen and heat from a fire; the clean agent interrupts the chemical reaction in a fire. And the cartridge-operated dry chemical extinguisher is best for weathered conditions.
Fire Class C
Fire class C deals with electrical fires in motors, appliances, and transformers. For class C, you’d use these fire extinguishers:
- Dry chemical
- Clean agent
- Water mist
- Cartridge-operated dry chemical
The water mist fire extinguisher uses water to remove the heating element of a fire and is better to use than a clean agent when dealing with contamination.
Fire Class D & K
Class D fires are combustible metals like sodium and aluminum. The only extinguisher to use is a dry powder—it separates oxygen from the fuel.
Fire class K is kitchen appliances; the only extinguisher you should ever use is the wet chemical fire extinguisher.
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
If you ever encounter a fire in your home, knowing how to use a fire extinguisher is essential. Before using the product, ensure you’re at a safe distance. Then, go ahead and remove the needle from the handle, aim your nozzle at the fire’s base, and slowly squeeze the lever. Do not move it around in a chaotic way; stay calm, and use a sweeping motion from side to side so the material lands on the fire.
This is all relevant information if a fire breaks out. What you need to know the most about extinguishing a fire is keeping your home stocked with fire emergency gear to use at home. These supplies keep your home protected. Relay this information to a friend to remind them to stay protected when encountering a fire in their home.