Fire safety is a critical concern in any environment, and having the right fire extinguisher is essential for protecting lives and property. However, not all fires are the same, and using the wrong type of extinguisher can be ineffective or even dangerous. To ensure your safety and the effectiveness of your fire suppression efforts, it's crucial to understand the concept of fire classes and how they relate to fire extinguishers.
The team at Hartson Fire explain the different classes of fires and guide you on how to match the right extinguisher to the fire type.
In the UK, fires are categorised into different classes based on the type of fuel or materials involved. These classes are identified by letters, and each class requires a specific type of fire extinguisher for effective suppression. The fire classes are as follows:
Class A - Fires involving solid materials fuelled by wood, paper, textiles, plastics, and other solid materials commonly found in homes and workplaces.
Class B - Fires involving flammable liquids like petrol, diesel, oil, and paint fall under this class.
Class C - Fires involving flammable gases resulting from the ignition of gases such as methane, propane, or butane are categorized here.
Class D - Fires involving combustible metals, such as magnesium, sodium, and potassium.
Class F - Fires involving cooking fats and oils, usually kitchen fires, particularly those involving hot cooking oils, fall under this category.
Now that we’ve explained the different types of fire classes, here’s how to select the appropriate fire extinguisher for each class:
Class A Fires: For fires involving solid materials, use a Water or Foam fire extinguisher. These extinguishers are designed to cool and smother the fire.
Class B Fires: Flammable liquid fires require a Foam, Dry Powder, or Carbon Dioxide (CO2) extinguisher. These extinguishers work by cutting off the fire's oxygen supply.
Class C Fires: Fires involving flammable gases should be tackled with a Dry Powder or CO2 extinguisher. Both types work to displace oxygen, smothering the fire.
Class D Fires: Specialized Class D extinguishers designed for specific metal types are necessary for these fires. Consult a fire safety expert for guidance.
Class F Fires: Kitchen fires with cooking fats and oils can be extinguished using a Wet Chemical fire extinguisher. These extinguishers create a barrier on the surface of the burning oil to prevent reignition.
Remember, it's essential to have the right type of extinguisher readily available and properly serviced in areas where specific fire risks are present. Regular servicing, staff training, and fire safety awareness can further enhance your fire preparedness.
Understanding fire classes and matching them to the appropriate fire extinguisher is crucial for effective fire safety in both commercial and domestic spaces. In emergencies, quick and informed action can make all the difference. Ensure that you have the right extinguishers in place, and don't hesitate to seek guidance from fire safety professionals to protect your property and loved ones effectively. Fire safety is everyone's responsibility, and being prepared can save lives and prevent extensive damage.
For more information or book a service, call the team at Hartson Fire on the number below: