fire protection with fire extinguishers

Understanding the difference between various fire extinguishers can help you choose the best one for your office configuration. Here’s what you need to know about different types of fire extinguishers.

Class A

Class A extinguishers put out fires that occur in ordinary combustible materials, such as:

  • Paper.
  • Wood.
  • Cloth.
  • Rubber.
  • Plastic.

These extinguishers utilize water or other types of dry chemicals to absorb heat and put out the fire. You can tell an extinguisher is designated for Class A fires if it is labeled with a triangle containing the letter “A.”

Class B

If you’re faced with a fire caused by flammable liquid or gases, it can be extinguished with a Class B fire extinguisher. This includes:

  • Oil or oil-based paints.
  • Fuel.
  • Petroleum grease.
  • Tar.
  • Lacquers.
  • Alcohol.

This extinguisher works by depriving the fire of oxygen, which is one of the main components it needs to burn. It also prevents the fire from releasing combustible vapors, therefore causing it to die out. Extinguishers suitable for Class B fires are marked with the letter “B” inside a small square.

Class C

Class C fire extinguishers are designed to put out electrical fires that arise from circuit breakers, panels and live wires. This extinguisher works by releasing materials that halt electrical conduction. Once the electrical equipment has been stripped of its energy, you can use a class A or B extinguisher to put out the fire. Class C extinguishers are labeled with the letter “C” in a circle.

Class D

Class D extinguishers are used on fires that are caused by the ignition of flammable metals, including:

  • Magnesium.
  • Titanium.
  • Aluminum.
  • Sodium.
  • Potassium.
  • Lithium.

This extinguisher is best for combustible metals because they don’t react with each other. Extinguishers designated for Class D fires feature the letter “D” inside a five-point star.

Class K

Most commonly utilized in restaurant kitchens, class K extinguishers are used to put out cooking fires caused by fats, oils and greases. This extinguisher uses a process called saponification to put out fires. The extinguisher releases an alkaline mixture that combines with the burning oil or fat and creates a soapy foam. This foam traps gases and puts out the fire. These extinguishers are marked with the letter “K.”

Fire extinguisher installation is required for every commercial building in New York City, and the FDNY can issue a fine of up to $1,000 if your building violates a requirement. At Allstate Sprinkler, our team of experienced professionals can install fire extinguishers in accordance with NYC’s regulations and help you avoid costly fines. Call us today for a free estimate.