Whether at home or work, it’s crucial you have a plan in place to fight a fire. This should mean that you have a fire extinguisher in place to help support you in the event of a blaze. There are many fire extinguisher types, however. If you’re confused by fire extinguisher colours, logos and more, here’s our complete guide to the main symbols on your firefighting unit.
What Are Classes?
There are several classes of fire extinguisher which will separate them from the types of fire you can actively put out. When looking at the side of a fire extinguisher, you will normally find it’s class clearly printed and visible. While you might use a foam fire extinguisher to fight certain fires, it is not always easy to tell which type of extinguisher you are working with until you turn it on! However, this is never wise – check the symbols first!
Here’s a quick rundown of the classes you will find fire extinguishers split into:
- Class A – Class A fire extinguishers are those which have green triangles and will be useful for putting out general fires. For example, you can use this extinguisher to put out wood and card fires.
- Class B – Class B fires are a little more dangerous, on the whole. Use these extinguishers, with red square symbols, to put out petrol and grease fires.
- Class C – This class of fire extinguisher will help you put out electrical fires. These are safe extinguishers to use, as they will prevent you from throwing water on electrical blazes. You will find these systems with a blue circle on the side.
- Class D – Class D extinguishers are for chemical fires. Therefore, it’s likely you will only ever find them in specialist environments. These extinguishers are marked with yellow stars.
- Class K – Class K extinguishers are ideal for putting out cooking fires, such as those caused by fats and oils. You’ll normally find these in commercial kitchen environments and cafeterias. These are marked with black hexagons.
Some fire extinguishers have multiple uses and purposes. These systems will normally have a mix of symbols and classes. These systems are less common but are extremely useful in environments where there is a range of fire hazards.
How Do You Know Which Fire Extinguishers You Have?
Before you get started with any kind of fire extinguishers, you should make sure to set up a full risk assessment. This is crucial so that you can learn the fire extinguisher colours, and so that you know how to handle the types of fires that could occur on your business or premises.
For example, a car fire extinguisher is likely to be a lot different compared to those which you might use in kitchens and café environments. However, if you’re unsure which extinguishers are right for your business, always look for the colours and the shapes! Make sure you use the right tool to put out fires you may come across.