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Fire Classes & Extinguishers

Fire Classes & Extinguishers


We recently had a fire claim come through our office, the insured tried to put out a grease fire with water. Didn’t go well, cost thousands of dollars of damage & displaced the homeowner for a good 4-6 months. This week we thought we would share the different classes of fires and how to properly (and safely!). Our information comes from a very reliable & knowledgeable source, the Fire Equipment Manufacturers Association:

Right off the bat the information states that there are different fuels that cause different fires and each require a different way to extinguish them. The different types of fires are:

Class A – ordinary combustibles like paper, wood, trash, cloth, & plastics

Class B – flammable liquids such as gas or oil & flammable gasses like propane & butane (does not include cooking oil/grease)

Class C – electrical fires caused by electric devices, transformers, motors

Class D – combustible metals like potassium, sodium, aluminum, & magnesium

Class K – vegetable & animal fats/oils

As there are different fire classes, each require a different extinguisher:

Water/Foam – used only for class A fires only, may spread other fire classes or create additional dangers

Carbon Dioxide – used only for class B & C fires only, ineffective against class A fires

Dry Chemical – most are all-purpose for use against class A,B, & C fires but check the label to be sure, could cause other types of fires to reignite

Wet Chemical – used mainly for class K fires, could be used for some class A fires as well. Read the label to be sure

Clean Agent – used mainly for class B & C fires, larger extinguishers can also be used on class A fires. Read the label to be sure

Dry Powder – used only for Class D fires only, is ineffective against other classes of fire

Water Mist – primarily used for class A fires, in some cases it can also be used for class C fires. Read the label to be sure

Cartridge-Operated Dry Chemical – can be used against Classes A, B, & C fires. Read the label to be sure

Remember, only attempt to fight a fire if:

* The fire is small and contained
* You are safe from toxic smoke
* You have a means of escape
* Your instincts tell you it’s OK

If any one of these isn’t true, get away and call the fire department.

Visit the referenced website for more information on fire extinguishers and take the quiz!


Contact Us!

At Marsilje & Vander Plow Insurance Agency, we can work with you to make sure you’ve got the coverage you need, while at the same time using all possible credits and discounts to make that coverage affordable. Just give us a call at 616-396-1497 or send us a note at marsiljeins@gmail.com. We want to help you meet your goals, and make sure what’s important to you is protected!

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