Were you aware that there are different types of fires? There are five different types to be exact. Were you also aware that water doesn’t extinguish all of these fires? Weird, I know but not all fires are created equal and in some cases you may be making the fire you are trying to put out worse. Let’s explore these different types of fires and the proper extinguisher to use.

Class A
The most common type of fire is from Class A and is fueled by ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics. Your best bet on this type of fire is water but you can also use a foam, dry powder, wet chemical, or vanishing liquid extinguisher as well.

Class B
This class of fire is fueled by flammable liquids and gasses such as gasoline, petroleum oil, paint, propane, and butane. These liquids and gasses might fall in the same category but it is important to know the difference in what can be used to put them out. With the flammable liquids you can use a foam, dry powder, or carbon dioxide extinguisher but with flammable gasses the only option is to use dry powder.

Class C
Class C is composed of energized electrical equipment such as motors, transformers, and appliances. It’s important to unplug or de-energize these fires as soon as possible. The best type of extinguishers to use are foam, dry powder, or vaporizing liquid.

Class D
This is the most uncommon type of fire and is made up of combustible metals such as potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium. The only type of extinguisher that works to put out a Class D fire is dry powder.

Class K
When you think of Class K think of the kitchen. This is because this class of fire is caused by cooking oils and greases such as animal and vegetable fats. CO2, wet chemical, and dry powder are the best options for extinguishing this type of fire.