A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives. But when it comes to extinguishers, one type does not fit all. There are five primary types of fire extinguishers, each designed to put out different kinds of fires:
- A: For use with materials like cloth, wood and paper;
- B: For use with combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints;
- C: For use with electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in;
- D: For use with flammable metals like aluminum, magnesium, and titanium; and
- K: For use with vegetable oils, animal oils and fats in cooking appliances.
- The U. S. Fire Administration recommends that only those trained in the proper use and maintenance of fire extinguishers consider using them when appropriate! Contact your local fire department for training in your area;
- If you do not think you would be able to safely put the fire out in five seconds using an extinguisher, do not attempt to use it! Leave the area and call 911; and
- When using an extinguisher, be sure to follow the PASS method – Pull the pin, Aim low, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.