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Fire Safety: What Are the Different Classes of Fires?

Fire Safety: What Are the Different Classes of Fires?

Did you know there are five different classes of fires categorized as Class A, B, C, D, and K? Each class is divided based on the types of materials that are likely to catch on fire.

Whether you’re teaching fire safety to children or need the knowledge for yourself, continue reading to learn about the different classes of fires.

Class A Fires

Items that catch on fire in Class A fires are materials like wood, paper, fabric, and some plastics. Some might consider Class A fires as ordinary fires that frequently occur since the materials in question are common in everyday activities.

Class A fires can be doused with water, smothered, or extinguished with a Type A or Type ABC fire extinguisher.

Class B Fires

Class B fires involve liquids and gases; these items are highly flammable and should not be extinguished with water. Some of the flammable items included in Class B fires are alcohol, ether, oil, gasoline, and grease.

The most effective way to put out these fires is with a Type BC fire extinguisher. Just as the title indicates, a Type BC extinguisher is designed for Class B and Class C fires.

Class C Fires

If you have a Type BC extinguisher on hand when this fire occurs, you’re ready to stay safe during an electrical fire. But what items lead to a Class C fire?

Class C fires are electrical fires caused by various types of electrical malfunctions in wiring, appliances, and other types of electronic equipment. They can occur anywhere from construction sites to your home. Stay away from water when putting out a Class C fire, and stick to using your handy Type BC extinguisher.

Class D Fires

Class D fires are rarer than the above-listed classes of fires. They involve flammable metal materials such as titanium, aluminum, and magnesium. These fires most commonly occur in laboratories and are not overly common household fires.

It’s a challenge to put out a Class D fire; the best solution is to use a dry powder agent that will minimize damages and keep people around the fire out of harm’s way.

Class K Fires

Lastly, Class K fires are common household fires caused when cooking. This is most common when liquid cooking ingredients such as grease, oils, and vegetable fat catch fire.

Class K fires are very dangerous. You should never try to douse a grease fire in water because it will cause the flame to implode. Instead, you need a Type K fire extinguisher that contains a wet chemical or water mist. This is the safest and most effective method to get rid of a Class K fire.

Every fire should be treated seriously and quickly. Within seconds, a seemingly harmless fire can spread and become life-threatening. Understanding these important fire safety tips and the different classes of fires will ensure you’re prepared to tackle any situation as best you can.

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