Class C fires are caused by combustion of gases. The most common flammable gases involved in fires are methane, natural gas, propane and acetylene. Class C fires are often one of the most difficult and dangerous types of fire to extinguish and the safest method is normally by shutting down the fuel supply.
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Class A fires involve free burning solid substances. This is often burning organic matter such as wood, paper, cardboard, textiles and some plastics.
Class B are fires fueled by flammable or combustible liquid, such as kerosene, oils, paraffin petrol, paints and alcohol. A solid stream of water should never be used to extinguish this type of fire because it can cause the fuel and the fire to spread.
British Fire ClassificationsIt is important to understand the different classifications of fire. As fires are classified according to the various type of combustible fuel that has been ignited, if the wrong type of fire extinguisher is used it could cause the fire to spread or injure the operator.
Class D fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium, plutonium, potassium, sodium, lithium and aluminium. These types of fires require a special grade of fire extinguisher. It is extremely dangerous to use a standard water extinguisher, materials such as sodium will react acting as an accelerant.
Electrical fires involve potentially live electrical equipment (fuse boxes, microwaves, computers and wiring). Live electrical fires can be a severe hazard to anyone fighting the fire using water or other conductive agents.
•If in Doubt sound the alarm, exit the building and telephone 999 to call the fire brigade.•Remember that life is more important than property, so don't place yourself and others at risk.•Never attempt to use a fire extinguisher on a fire unless you feel it is safe for you to do so.•Before using a fire extinguisher, ensure that there is a clear exit for escape.•Remember Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep
Basic video tutorial on how to use a fire extinguisher:
Class F fires are combustible oils and grease normally found in commercial kitchens these hot fires that have the ability to re-ignite once extinguished under certain conditions. Only use Class F rated fire fighting equipment to extinguish cooking oil fires as non rated extinguishers such as water, foam, powder or CO2 may spread the burning oil and increase the fire.
Water Fire Extinguishers are one of the most popular and cost effective of all available fire extinguishers, but limited to only A class fires. Water fire extinguishers produce a powerful jet enabling the user to fight a fire from a longer distance.BS EN3 colour code: Red label
Foam Fire Extinguishersextinguish fires by providing a film of foam over the fire, which starves the fire of oxygen and cools the fire using the water content in the foam. The layer of foam applied to the source of fuel helps to prevent re-ignition after the fire has been extinguished.EN3 colour code: Cream label
CO2 Fire Extinguishers(carbon dioxide) are suitable for use on live electrical fires and flammable liquids and work by displacing the oxygen. CO2 is the cleanest extinguisher agents and leaves no residue behind, the main disadvantage is that once the gas has dispersed the fire may re-ignite.EN3 colour code: Black label
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishersis a multi-purpose fire extinguisher that can be used on A, B and C classes of fire. It works by blanketing the source with an inert solid, to coat the fuel and smother the fire. Powder extinguishers should not be used in confined spaces where there is a risk of inhaling the powder.EN3 colour code: Blue label
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishersare especially designed for use in commercial kitchens, involving burning oil and deep fat fryer fires (class F). On application the contents provide a chemical reaction to the fuel, sealing the source and preventing re-ignition.EN3 colour code: Yellow label
Fire Blanketsare are made of fire-resistant materials and are very effective at smothering the fire and denying it oxygen but has to cover entire burning area.