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When it comes to selecting the correct fire extinguisher, no single type of extinguisher is completely effective against all types of fires. So, when purchasing a fire extinguisher, it is critical to consider the sort of fire you may encounter. Using the wrong sort of fire extinguisher for the job can be extremely harmful, worsening the fire and endangering anyone attempting to combat it.

Types of fires

The fire categorization system divides fires into classes based on the fuel used. With the exception of ‘electrical fires,’ each fire class is represented by a letter of the alphabet and an easily identifiable image. This is intended to assist users in selecting the appropriate fire extinguisher to cope with a certain fire occurrence.

The below table sets out this class rating system:-

Classification Icon Fuel Type
Class A Solids such as paper, wood, soft furnishings, and plastic.
Class B Flammable liquids such as paraffin, petrol and oil.
Class C Flammable gases such as propane, butane, and methane
Class D Metals such as aluminum, magnesium, and titanium
Class F Cooking oils and fats
Electrical Fires involving electrical apparatus.
Former Class E – this type of fire can fall into any of the classes, as it is not the electricity burning but the surrounding materials set alight by the electric current.

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