What type of fire extinguisher is needed?

Types of Extinguishers

Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers. For example, a grease fire and an electrical fire require the use of different extinguishing agents to be effective and safely put the fire out.

Basically, there are five different types of extinguishing agents. Most fire extinguishers display symbols to show the kind of fire on which they are to be used.

Type of ExtinguisherDescriptionUsage
Class AClass A extinguishers put out fires in ordinary combustible materials such as cloth, wood, rubber, paper, and many plastics.Ordinary Combustibles
Class BClass B extinguishers are used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as grease, gasoline, oil, and oil-based paints.Flammable Liquids
Class CClass C extinguishers are suitable for use on fires involving appliances, tools, or other equipment that is electrically energized or plugged in.Electrical Equipment
Class DClass D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals and are often specific for the type of metal in question. These are typically found only in factories working with these metals.Combustible Metals
Class KClass K fire extinguishers are intended for use on fires that involve vegetable oils, animal oils, or fats in cooking appliances. These extinguishers are generally found in commercial kitchens, such as those found in restaurants, cafeterias, and caterers. Class K extinguishers are now finding their way into the residential market for use in kitchens.Combustible Cooking

Multi-Purpose Extinguishers

There are also multi-purpose fire extinguishers - such as those labeled "B-C" or "A-B-C" - that can be used on two or more types of fires.

Show All Answers

1. What type of fire extinguisher is needed?
2. Is the fire at a point where it might still be controlled by a fire extinguisher?
3. Am I physically capable of using the extinguisher?