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Fire Extinguisher Classes: Which one is right for your workplace?

Fire fighter using fire extinguisher
fire extinguisher class A

Class A

Description

Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber and many plastics.

Type

Water (Air-Pressurized Water Extinguishers (APW))

Class icons

fire extinguisher class A
fire extinguisher class A

Class B

Description

Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint, lacquer and flammable gas.

Type

Multipurpose (dry chemical extinguishers (AB)) CO2 or Dry Chemical (carbon dioxide extinguishers (BC))

Class icons

fire extinguisher class B fire extinguisher class B
fire extinguisher class C

Class C

Description

Energized electrical equipment including wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery and appliances.

Type

Multipurpose (dry chemical extinguishers)

Class icons

fire extinguisher class C
fire extinguisher class D

Class D

Description

Fires involving powders, flakes or shavings of combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium.

Class icon

fire extinguisher class C
fire extinguisher class C

Class K

Description

Combustible cooking media such as oils and grease commonly found in commercial kitchens.

Class icon

fire extinguisher class K

Understanding UL Fire Extinguisher Ratings:

Class A: The 'A' refers to the amount of water (in gallons) the extinguisher is equal to and represents 1.25 gallons of water for every unit of one.

Class B: The 'B' stands for the square footage the extinguisher can handle.

Class C: The 'C' indicates that the extinguisher can be used on electrical equipment.

Example: 3-A:40-B:C 3-A: equivalent to 3.75 gallons of water (3 x 1.25). 40-B: covers 40 square feet. C: can be used on electrical equipment.

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