Fire Extinguisher Classifications
Choose the Correct Type of Fire Extinguisher
The letters on the label of a fire extinguisher indicate what type of fire to use it on (see below). Make sure to use the right extinguisher for the corresponding type of fire.
Note: Although ABC and BC Dry Chemical extinguishers can control a fire involving electronic equipment, the National Fire Code (NFPA 75-1999 edition), Section 6-3-2, specifically advises against dry-chemical extinguishers for fires involving computers or other delicate electronic equipment due to the potential damage from residues.
Which Fire Extinguisher should I use?
Multi-Purpose Dry Chemical
Multi-purpose fire extinguishers utilize a dry chemical agent (siliconized monoammonium phosphate) that suppresses Class A, B and C fires. They are definitely the most versatile, as they can be used to extinguish common combustible, flammable liquid and live electrical equipment fires. ABC extinguishers are great for home, office, flammable liquid storage, boiler room, chemical facility and warehouse applications.
Purple K Dry Chemical
Purple K fire extinguishers contain a specially fluidized and siliconized potassium bicarbonate dry chemical, which is particularly effective on high-hazard Class B and Class C fires. They are the preferred fire-fighting agent of the oil, gas, chemical and utilities industries.
CO2 is discharged as a white clous that smothers the fire by eliminating its oxygen. It is a clean, non-contaminating, odorless gas and is safe for use on clothing, equipment, valuable documents or food. CO2 extinguishers are particularly useful for computer rooms, flammable liquid storage areas and hospital operating room fires. They are highly effective, easy to use, and leave no messy residue behind.
Halon 1211 is a liquefied gas, pressurized with nitrogen, which discharges as a vapor causing no cold or static shock, and no impairment of the operator’s vision. This “CLEAN” agent quick penetrates difficult to see and hard to reach areas and leaves no residue. It is recommended for protection of delicate, sensitive, and expensive computers, electrical equipment, tapes, film, automotive engines, laboratory chemicals and equipment.
Halotron is a “Clean Agent” HydroChloroFluoroCarbon discharged as a rapidly evaporating liquid which leaves no residue. It effectively extinguishes Class A and B fires by cooling and smothering and it will not conduct electricity back to the operator. Halotron is pressurized with Argon gas and is an EPA and FAA approved HCFC blend B agent approved for use on Class A, B and C fires. It has a low Atmospheric Lifetime (3 to 11 years). Halotron is intended for use in areas formely protected by Halon 1211 hand portable extinguishers such as computer rooms, telecommunications facilities, clean rooms, data storage areas, offices (for protection of sensitive electronic equipment), boats and vehicles.
Water mist extinguishers are designed to provide customers with an environmentally friendly clean agent. The extinguishant is simply distilled water and therefore is non-toxic and leaves no residue. It is effective on Class A common combustible fires and Class C live electrical equipment manufacturing plants, clean rooms and hyper baric chambers. Is the ultimate extinguisher for Class A fires, especially where a potential Class C (electrical) hazard exists. The fine spray from the unique misting nozzle provides safety from electrical shock, greatly enhances the cooling and soaking characteristics of the agent and reduces scattering of the burning materials. Unequivocally the best extinguisher for hospital environments, telecommunications facilities and “clean room” manufacturing facilities.
K Class Wet Chemical
Wet Chemical extinguishers are the best restaurant kitchen appliance hand portable fire extinguishers you can purchase. They contain a special potassium acetate based, low PH agent developed for use in pre-engineered restaurant kitchen systems. The recent trend to more efficient cooking appliances and use of unsaturated cooking oils, dictates the use of a hand portable fire extinguisher with greater fire fighting capacity and cooling effect to combat these very hot and difficult fires. The superior fire fighting capability of the wet chemical agent is placed exactly where you aim it with no chemical residue to clean up. They are deemed to be the best portable fire protection available to supplement pre-engineered restaurant suppressions systems.
D Class Dry Powder
Class D fire extinguishers contain a sodium chloride based dry chemical extinguishing agent. Heat from the fire coats the metal, excluding air and dissipating the heat from the burning metal, such as magnesium, sodium, potassium, sodium potassium alloys, uranium and powdered aluminum. They are specifically for use in areas where combustible metals are present.