Anytime you need a fire extinguisher, it’s a scary situation. It’s even scarier when you aren’t sure which type of extinguisher is best for the type of emergency occurring. Today, we want to review the different types of fire extinguishers and which type is best for each situation. Having this information can make an emergency situation much calmer and help to reduce damage to your property should a fire ever occur.
Water and Foam Extinguishers
Water and foam extinguishers are the most commonly found extinguishers, and they work by removing the heat element of the fire triangle. However, it is important to remember the different classes of fires here, as water and foam extinguishers should only be used on Class A fires, which are ordinary combustibles such as wood, clothing, and plastics.
Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers
Carbon dioxide extinguishers work through removing the oxygen element of the fire, essentially suffocating the flames. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are generally ineffective on Class A fires, however, and should only be used on Class B and C fires, which are flammable liquid and electrical fires, respectively.
Dry/Wet Chemical Extinguishers
Dry and wet chemical extinguishers function similarly in that they both interrupt and create a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements of a fire. However, dry chemical extinguishers are only suitable for Class B and C fires, while wet chemical extinguishers are generally saved for specific kitchen fires such as cooking oil or vegetable fat fires, known as Class K fires.
Dry Powder Extinguishers
Dry powder extinguishers are very similar to dry chemical extinguishers, but they extinguish the fire by separating the fuel and oxygen elements instead of creating a barrier between the two. Dry powder extinguishers are only effective on Class D fires, which are combustible metal fires.
Clean Agent Extinguishers
Also known as halogenated extinguishers, the agents used in these extinguishers are designed to contain less ozone-harming chemicals while still producing the same result. Clean agent extinguishers work by interrupting the chemical reaction of oxygen and fuel, and are suitable for Class A, B, and C fires.
Water Mist Extinguishers
Water mist extinguishers are similar to clean agent extinguishers in that they were designed for cleaner environmental use and work by removing the heat element of a fire. Water mist extinguishers are optimal for Class A fires, but they are also deemed safe for Class C fires.
With today’s technology, there is a fire extinguisher for every emergency situation. We hope that this useful guide will help you make a quick, informed decision about which extinguisher is best to keep on hand in your business or home. If you need a larger sprinkler system or water storage tank, feel free to contact us at [email protected] or call 302-652-4722 today!