There are 5 major types of fire extinguishers you can use, depending on the type of fire you’re trying to contain.
1. Water Or A Mist Of Water
In these types of extinguishers, water is used to douse the fire and cool burning objects; for water-mist extinguishers, ultra-fine moisture creates a curtain of water that suffocates the fire by cutting off oxygen.
Water extinguishers are great for use on wood, paper, and textiles but are not effective on flammable liquids and gases, cooking oils, and electrical materials.
2. Foam Fire Extinguisher
In this type, the foam smothers and cuts off the fire’s oxygen supply; after the fire is put out, there is remaining residue to deal with.
Foam extinguishers work greatly with wood, paper, textiles, and flammable liquids; however, they’re ineffective for flammable gases, cooking oils, and electrical materials.
3. Dry/ABC Powder
The dry powder forms a crust to stifle the fire and stop it from spreading; however, the powder doesn’t have a cooling effect, resulting in a repeated fire.
They’re most effective on wood, paper, textiles, flammable liquids, flammable gases, and electrical materials. They cannot be used for fires ignited from cooking oils and fats.
4. Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher
Uses carbon dioxide and should be used cautiously in small places as it might suffocate those in the room).
These are effective on flammable liquids, electrical contact. Ineffective on wood, paper, textiles, flammable gases, and cooking oils/fats.
5. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
A fine mist created by a pressurized solution of alkali salts in water suffocates the flames.
It can be used on wood, paper, textiles, and cooking oils/fats. These types of extinguishers are not effective on flammable liquids and gases or electrical contact.
Take a look at the infographic below to learn how to use your fire extinguisher.
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