Fire safety is an incredibly important part of life. One of the most important tools in fire safety is a fire extinguisher. But did you know that there are different types of fire extinguishers that correspond with different classes of fires?

Class A fires

Class A fires are your typical fire that you would think of. These fires start due to ordinary combustibles such as paper and wood. The best way to extinguish these fires is with water, so the extinguisher in this case is called an Class A extinguisher, and is filled with water. There is also a powder that some companies will use that will also extinguish this type of fire.

Class B fires

Class B fires are fires that start because of flammable liquids, such as ethanol or gasoline. These fires cannot be extinguished with water like Class A fires. Thus, Class B fire extinguishers are filled with a chemical powder that can put out flammable liquids.

Class C fires

Class C fires are fires that have started due to electrical reasons, such as a plugged in toaster catching on fire. You should never try to extinguish this class of fire with water, as electricity and water do not mix. There are special extinguishers that contain carbon dioxide that are able to extinguish Class C fires. Alternatively, if you do not have a Class C extinguisher, you can unplug the electronic device that is on fire. Be careful when doing this, as trying to unplug a device on fire could lead to you getting burned.

Class D fires

Class D fires are fires that are started due to combustible metals, such as magnesium and titanium. These metals react very highly with heat and flame, and will cause a very explosive reaction. These fires should also not be extinguished with water, as that can accelerate the reaction. Instead, you should use a Class D extinguisher, which is filled with a special powder that will extinguish the fire.

Class K fires

Class K fires are fires that start because of kitchen grease fires. These fires can be very dangerous and can get out of hand very quickly. Because these generally occur in large commercial kitchens, there are large kitchen fire extinguisher systems to put out these types of fires. These extinguishers are mounted over the fryers and when the situation arises release a liquid that covers the fire and suppresses the flames as to extinguish it.