Types of Fires
Assigning a type or class to a fire extinguisher is based on the source of the fire. Since not all fires start from the same fuel source, stopping it from spreading needs the right extinguisher for the fire. Matching both the extinguisher with the fire, one must honestly assess the fire hazards posed in the area you occupy. Having a fire extinguisher not matched with the fire type that may possibly happen in your environment is a waste of money and energy- that is if you get to try and arrest the blaze with the wrong apparatus.
These fires are started when easily ignitable materials have reached their igniting temperature. These materials can be cloth, boxes, paper, plastics and trash.
Type 'B' fires usually involve liquids that are highly flammable and spread easily. These fires are also started by gas, paint, petrol viscous yet highly flammable too. This fire type may also be started with gases that are easily ignited by heat, such as propane and butane.
This type of fire is started within an appliance, electric equipment, appliance motors and transformers. A type 'C' fire can easily be put out by cutting its power source which abruptly changes its type of fire.
A type 'D' fire source is combustible metals such as calcium, lithium, magnesium and its alloys, phosphorus and titanium among the more known chemical elements. These chemicals when heated and oxidation present causes sparks that may turn into fast spreading flames.
This type of fire concern burning of cooking fats and grease.
The classification of fire is a guide on what kind of fire extinguisher is used in varying situations. There are several fire retardant components used for several types of fire and pose dangerous to other fire types. In the following pages are a list of the different kinds of extinguishers available in the market today.