Fires are classified by Class A, B, C, D and K. Each class is associated with a different flammable material and approach to extinguish the fire safely.
Class A Fires
A class A fire will involve solid materials such as clothing, paper, wood and plastic. These are the most common fires across the world. The majority of these fires are caused unintentionally. Typically, these are the easiest fires to put out with water or foam extinguisher.
Class B Fires
Class B differs from Class A because it involves liquids instead of solids. Gasoline, oil and alcohol are typically responsible for these fires. One important note, though, is these fires do not include cooking fires. Water will not put out Class B fires. Instead, water will simply spread the flammable liquid.
Class C Fires
Class C fires will involve electricity, frequently caused by faulty appliances, old wiring or frayed cords. If you see an electrical fire, it’s recommended to disconnect the appliance if it’s safe to do so. You can put these fires out by using a powder or carbon dioxide extinguisher. Water and foam cannot be used to put these fires out.
Class D Fires
Class D fires are extremely rare, occurring when metal ignites. To ignite, metals require high temperatures. Aluminum, magnesium and potassium can ignite when exposed to air or water. Needless to say, water cannot be used to put out Class D fires.
Class K Fires
Sometimes grouped together with Class B, this fire class involves cooking liquids and fats. These fires commonly take place on the stove when pans are left unattended. Do not use water as an extinguisher.
Which Type Of Fire Can Be Safely Put Out With Water?
Water can be used as an extinguisher on Class A fires that consist of flammable solids.
Which Type Of Fire Cannot Be Put Out With Water?
Never use water to put out Class B or Class C fires.
How Does Water Put Out Fire?
When applied to a fire, water creates a barrier between the fuel and oxygen. This will cool the fire and remove its heat source entirely.
What Are The 4 Types Of Fire Extinguishers?
There are four main types of fire extinguishers: water, foam, carbon dioxide and dry powder.