Fire extinguishers are an important part of fire safety, and should be placed in every home, business, school, and more. They can be used to put out small fires before they have a chance to spread, and also allow you to safely evacuate the area in case of an emergency. But with so many different types of fire extinguishers on the market, it can be difficult to know which type is right for your needs. Understanding the types of fire extinguishers and their differences will help you make the right choice for your home, business, and other locations. Remember, if you experience fire damage and require cleanup, restoration, and construction services, SERVPRO® is here to help. With over 5 decades of experience and more than 2000 franchises, our fire damage restoration process will get you back up and running and return your space to preloss condition.
When to Use a Fire Extinguisher
While choosing the right type of fire extinguisher is an important part of fire safety, knowing when to use one is highly important. Fire extinguishers are designed for use on small fires, such as those of paper, wood, fabric, and other combustible materials. It’s important to remember, however, that a fire extinguisher should never be used on an out-of-control fire, as it could put you in danger. If a fire is too chaotic or large for you to handle, leave the area and call the fire department immediately. Your safety is top priority. For more information, review what steps to take after a house fire.
Differences in Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers come in a variety of sizes and types, so it’s important to understand the differences. Per FEMA, there are five primary types of fire extinguishers, labeled “A,” “B,” “C,” “D,” and “K.” These are considered their classes. Please note, most home improvement stores also carry multipurpose fire extinguishers, such as “B-C” or “A-B-C.”
• “A” fire extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher is a good choice for fires caused by combustible materials such as paper, wood, fabric, and other materials, and commonly found in homes and businesses. Typically, it’s also the most affordable type of fire extinguisher. However, this type is not effective against flammable liquids or electrical fires.
• “B” fire extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher is best for fires caused by flammable liquids, such as grease, oil, gasoline, and other combustible liquids. Like “A” fire extinguishers, it’s commonly found in homes and businesses.
• “C” fire extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher is one of the most popular types, as it’s effective against electrical equipment, tools, and other items that may be plugged in. It’s also typically found in homes and businesses.
• “D” fire extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher is commonly used against flammable metals and is often found in factories.
• “K” fire extinguisher. This type of fire extinguisher helps fight against animal oils, fats used in cooking, and vegetable oils, and is commonly found in industrial kitchens and restaurants.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher
While you should always make sure you’ve read the instructions in case a fire ever breaks out, here are some tips for using a fire extinguisher safely. Remember, unless you are the person handling the fire extinguisher, make sure everyone else has evacuated the area before use. Additionally, if the fire is not quickly extinguished, evacuate the area, and call the fire department.
A fire extinguisher can be used in four steps, or the “PASS” technique (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, Sweep):
1. Keeping a safe distance from the fire, pull the pin at the top of the fire extinguisher, which will unlock the operating lever.
2. Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
3. Squeeze the lever slowly. This will release the extinguishing agent.
4. Move the fire extinguisher in a sweeping motion, moving the nozzle from side to side, until the fire is extinguished.
Fire extinguishers are an important part of fire safety and can help you protect yourself and your family from the dangers of fire. With the right type of fire extinguisher and a little practice, you can keep yourself and your property safe from the dangers of fire.
SERVPRO® is Here to Help
At SERVPRO®, we understand the importance of fire safety. We are available 24/7 year-round to provide cleanup, restoration, and construction services in the event of a fire. If you’ve experienced a fire, don’t hesitate to contact us for help. With over 2000 franchises across the United States and Canada, our technicians live in the areas they serve, and come to each job with elite equipment and over 5 decades of experience and knowledge. Our teams have the resources of a national brand, but the specialized skill of local technicians to make sure your property is restored to preloss condition. Remember, SERPVPRO® professionals are committed to making it “Like it never even happened,” ® so when you need cleanup, restoration, and construction services in the aftermath of fire damage, give us call or visit servpro.com to find your nearest franchise. If you have any questions, check out our FAQ or Glossary for more information.