What Type of Fire Extinguisher Do I Need?
Class A Fire Extinguishers
- Class A fire extinguishers put out fires involving everyday materials such as wood, paper, cardboard and some plastics. A numerical rating on the side lets you know how much water it holds and the square footage of fire it can extinguish. This type of extinguisher would be especially useful in a storage room or attic, but suitable for most rooms except the kitchen.
Class B Fire Extinguishers
- Use a Class B fire extinguisher on combustible or flammable liquids, i.e. oil, grease, gasoline, kerosene and grease. These extinguishers carry a numerical rating on the side indicating the square footage of fire it can extinguish. Use this extinguisher in the garage or a home shop.
Class C Fire Extinguishers
- Class C fires require an extinguisher with a non-conductive agent, not water, because they involve electrical equipment. Using a Class C extinguisher guards against electrical shock. These do not carry a rating on the side. Use a Class C extinguisher on a fire involving an appliance, outlet, circuit breaker or wiring. This type is typically kept in the laundry room or a home shop.
Class D Fire Extinguishers
- In an area with many chemicals, such as a laboratory, keep a Class D extinguisher. These put out fires involving combustible metals, including sodium, potassium, magnesium and titanium. These extinguishers carry no numerical rating. These are not generally used in a home environment.
Class K Fire Extinguishers
- Fire engineers developed Class K extinguishers for us on commercial kitchen fires involving deep fat fryers. They are not designed for household use.
ABC Fire Extinguishers
- ABC extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate, a dry chemical that can extinguish fires of Classes A, B and C. It is the most common type of extinguisher, found in both households and businesses.