SERVING THE COMMUNITY BY " PROTECTING THE EAST SIDE "
All You Ever Wanted to Know About Fire Extinguishers . . .
There are basically five different types or classes of fire extinguishers, each of which extinguishes specific types of fire. Newer fire extinguishers use a picture/labeling system to designate which types of fires they are to be used on. Older fire extinguishers are labeled with colored geometrical shapes with letter designations. Both of these types of labels are shown below with the description of the different classes of extinguishers.
Additionally, Class A and Class B fire extinguishers have a numerical rating which is based on tests conducted by Underwriter’s Laboratories that are designed to determine the extinguishing potential for each size and type of extinguisher.
Many extinguishers available today can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one designator, e.g. A-B, B-C, or A-B-C. Make sure that if you have a multi-purpose extinguisher it is properly labeled.
This is the new style of labeling that shows this extinguisher may be used on Ordinary Combustibles, Flammable Liquids, or Electrical Equipment fires. This is the new labeling style with a diagonal red line drawn through the picture to indicate what type of fire this extinguisher is NOT suitable for. In this example, the fire extinguisher could be used on Ordinary Combustibles and Flammable Liquids fires, but not for Electrical Equipment fires.
How they work
Portable fire extinguishers apply an extinguishing agent that will either cool burning fuel, displace or remove oxygen or stop the chemical reaction so a fire cannot continue to burn. When a handle on a fire extinguisher is compressed, it opens an inner cannister of high-pressure gas that forces the extinguishing agent from the main cylinder through a siphon tube and out the nozzle. A fire extinguisher works much like a can of hair spray.