There's A Lot More To Picking A Fire Extinguisher Than You Might Think

Business Blog

If you're looking at buying a fire extinguisher, you might believe one will be as good as the next. However, that could be a costly or even fatal mistake. It's critical to pair the right model with the correct application. Here's how you can find the right fire extinguisher for your needs without compromising on safety.

Outline Your Precise Use Case

Where will you need to use the system? There's a world of difference between suppressing a fire in a woodshop versus a commercial kitchen, for example. A woodworker can probably get by with a standard model, but a chef could spread fire by using the wrong one.

Think about the risks inherent to your situation. If you work with volatile chemicals, for example, you're probably going to face a different set of risks. Similarly, you might want to have a different model for fighting fires near your electrical box in your house versus the stove.

Understand the Classes

There are 5 distinct classes. The first four are Classes A through D. Additionally, there is a Class K. Some sellers also treat the hybrid ABC model as a distinct class. You can think of Class A as the standard home model. It does the job for fires involving fabrics, wood, papers, and other materials you'd typically find in a living room.

The Class B fire extinguisher targets petroleum fires. It's the standard-issue fire extinguisher for every working garage in the country because the foam works well to control fires fueled by motor oil, grease, and gasoline. Folks who do lots of work in residential garages should consider purchasing this model, especially if they do any welding or torching.

Class C is the one for electrical fires. Any company or home with extensive collections of electrical boxes, home power backup batteries, networking cables, servers, computers, or electronics should have one. This model's foam won't interact with electricity if it contacts bare wiring.

ABC fire extinguishers provide the functionality of the previous three classes. They are notably more expensive, but it's wise to go with this model if you're only going to keep one extinguisher at your home or business.

The Class D system handles flammable metals and chemicals This is scary stuff like magnesium or sodium that can be difficult to control once hot. You probably won't see a Class D model outside of factories and labs.

Lastly, you have Class K. It handles oils from foods and organic materials. For example, some cooking oils will stay on fire and spread if you hit them with the wrong foams. These are mostly for commercial kitchens.


20 October 2021

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