Being a homeowner means placing fire safety as one of the most important priorities in your home. Nevertheless, what some people do not realise is that fire safety does not translate into just buying a fire extinguisher for their property. In reality, you need to know what type of fire extinguisher you would need to contend with specific fires. There are two ways of trying to discern what fire extinguishers you should choose. First, learn about the various classes of fire, and secondly, understand which types of fire extinguishers are in the market.
Classes of fires
The categories of fires are based on the fuel source that ignites them. The main classes include the following:
- Class A: Paper, wood, plastics, cloth
- Class B: Combustible liquids
- Class C: Combustible gases
- Class D: Flammable metals
- Class E: Electricity
- Class F: Cooking oil
Types of fire extinguishers
Since there are numerous causes of fires, you should expect there would be just as many types of fire extinguishers to eliminate these fires. The trick is to purchase an extinguisher that would be suited to a specific environment. For instance, since Class F fires are more likely to happen in the kitchen, you should install a fire extinguisher specifically for this threat. Some of the fire extinguishers you could consider include the following:
Wet chemical: These types of fire extinguishers are relatively new to the fire safety market. The liquid contained in the extinguisher is supposed to eliminate the heat while also ensuring that there is minimal risk of re-ignition. The wet chemical extinguisher does this by forming a layer over the fuel source, preventing it from absorbing the much-needed oxygen for combustion. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are particularly beneficial for Class E fires, especially if you have a large and busy kitchen.
Foam: These fire extinguishers eliminate a fire by sucking out the oxygen, making it hard for combustion to occur. Best suited for Class A and Class B fires.
Dry chemical powder: as the name suggests, the fire extinguisher works by releasing a dry chemical powder. Dry chemical extinguishers can be used for all types of fire classes, making them ideal for any section of your property.
Water: These extinguishers function to eliminate the heat source through the use of pressurised water. Are best suited for Class A fires.
Carbon dioxide: These extinguishers are typically used on Class E fires as they work to cut off the oxygen supply to the combustion process.