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Select suitable fire extinguishers according to the needs of your environment. The most popular type for Homes, Offices, Shops and Vehicles is ABC Dry Powder which is considered multi-purpose.
Classes of Fire
Fire can be classified according to the materials implicated in its origin.
- Class A fire – Fires involving ordinary combustible materials like wood, paper, cloth, furnishing, plastics, rubber, etc., usually of an organic nature, in which combustion normally takes place with the formation of glowing embers.
- Class B fire – Fires involving flammable liquids, solvents, oils, paints, thinner and liquefiable solids.
- Class C fire – Fires involving flammable gases.
- Class D fire – Fires involving combustible metals, eg, potassium, magnesium, titanium, sodium, lithium and zirconium.
- Class F fire – Fires involving cooking media (vegetable or animals oils and fats) in cooking appliances.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are the “first aids” or the immediate handlers of fire. They help control small fires before the SCDF firemen arrive.
There are many different types of fire extinguishers but the most common ones are 1. Powder 2. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) 3. Foam 4. Wet Chemical and 5. Water.
- Powder Extinguishers. These are dry chemicals in red with blue band cylinders. They are often seen in homes and offices. It is effective on Class A, B and C fires.
- CO2 Extinguishers contain carbon dioxide, a non-flammable gas, and are highly pressurized. These are the only ones recommended for electrical fires. They are also suitable for flammable liquid fires.
- Foam Extinguisher . These are red with cream band or label cylinders. Foam agents eliminate heat in the subsistence of fire and also separate oxygen from the other elements. Foam extinguishers can be used in Class A and B fires only, with limited effectiveness in Class F fires.
- Wet Chemical Extinguisher. They are very useful for fires of Class A and F. They are deliberately designed to extinguish fires initiated by cooking oils and other fatty materials.
- Water Extinguisher . These come in solid red-colored cylinders. They are suitable for Class A fires only, taking away the heat element, and definitely not considered useful for Class B fires which can spread the flammable liquid and Class C that can generate electric shock.