What Symbols Mean on Side of Fire Extinguishers
Hi! All fire extinguishers have classification letters that show you what class (aka type or rating )fire they provide protection against. Nothing replaces training by a fire fighting professional so feel free to consult a pro for more comprehensive fire extinguishing advise. Please read on to learn how to Know What Letters / Type / Rating Mean on Fire Extinguisher
- Moderately Easy
- 1 First, as mentioned above, please don't substitute this article for actual fire fighting training, consult a professional before engaging a real fire.
- 2 Second, understand that all fires and extinguishers as of Nov 2009 are classified as either A , B , C , D , or K. The classification or class noted on side of extinguisher indicates what type of fire that extinguisher can put out. Do not use a fire extinguisher for a classification of fire that it is not rated for. (ie don't use an A extinguisher for a D fire, etc)
- 3 Extinguishers with an A on the side can only fight fires from ordinary combustibles such as wood, fire, cloth and paper.
- 4 Extinguishers with an B on the side can only fight fires from flammable liquids such as certain paints, certain solvents, gasoline and oil (NOT fryers or commercial fryers though)
- 5 Extinguishers with an C on the side can only fight electrical fires such as power tools, fuse boxes, televisions, wires, your PC / computer, and electric powered mechanical devices/motors. (Again, get professional training before engaging any fire :-)
- 6 Extinguishers with an D on the side can only fight flammable metal fires. Combustible metals include magnesium or sodium. Class D fires require very, very detailed professional training. Class D extinguishers must also match the type of metal that is burning. Be sure the metal is also listed on the label before using.
- 7 Extinguishers with an K on the side can only fight fires that occur in professional kitchen equipment using cooking oils. A fryer is a good example.
- 8 Some extinguishers have multiple letters on the side such as A, B, C. This means that you can combat a ordinary combustible, flammable liquid and electrical fire with this extinguisher. Be sure NOT to use this extinguisher for any other letter such as D or K.