Different Types Of Fire & How To Extinguish Them

Different Types Of Fire & How To Extinguish Them

A fire can be a terrifying thing. Depending on the size and intensity, it can cause extensive damage to property and even lead to injuries or fatalities. While many people think that fires are only caused by poorly done cooking, there are in fact many different types of fire that can occur. Each type of fire requires a specific type of extinguisher in order to be put out safely and properly. Here is a look at some of the most common types of fires and how to extinguish them.

What’s Fire?

The rapid oxidation or combustible material is called fire. It’s a chemical reaction that involves fuel, heat, or oxygen. The fire triangle is a combination of these three elements. When they are in the correct proportions, they will always create a fire. The fire will go out if you take away any part of the triangle. Scholars also added a fourth element to the equation, the uninhibited chain reaction. This gives the fire chemical reaction another side. This is known as the fire trihedron.

If you’ve ever had a question about the different types of fire, then this hub is for you. We’ll explain what each of these fires is and how they differ from each other. In this article, We will explain the basics of different types of fire and how they work.

Fire is an agent of destruction, sometimes deadly or extremely damaging to properties. Fire can also be beneficial in the sense that without it, humanity may not have discovered metallurgy and smelting. Fire is a very useful resource with many applications such as heat, cooking, and forging metals. There are different types of fire that differ from each other regarding their temperature, intensity, purpose, and visibility.

Classification Of Fire

Here are the five main types of fire. When we talk about fires, these are the types of fire that we’re referring to.

Classes of Fire: The fuel used to create the fire is what determines its classification. There are five types of fire.

CLASS “A”

These types of fires can be fueled with ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cloth, and paper. This type of fire produces an ember and ash. It is best to extinguish it by taking out the heat side. A triangle with the letter A should identify extinguishers for Class A fires. If color-coded, the triangle would be green. *

Class A Fire Types Of Fire

Solids are the most popular type of fire. They are also the hardest to extinguish. Good housekeeping will help reduce waste and packaging, minimizing the risk.

You should only use the water extinguisher on a class-A fire. Because it can deal with most solid fires, this is the most common type of extinguisher. It is not recommended to be used in close proximity to electrical equipment, however, because it acts as a conductor.

CLASS “B” Fire

These types of fire can be fueled by flammable liquids or combustible fluids, petroleum oils, tars and oils, oil-based paints (oil-based paints), solvents, lacquers alcohols, and flammable gasses. This fire is best put out by blanketing or smothering. This type of fire is quick-spreading and can quickly engulf large areas in a short time. A square containing the letter B should identify extinguishers that are suitable for Class “B” fires. The square will be red if color-coded. *

Class B Fire Types Of Fire

Statistics show that flammable liquids were responsible for 21% of all fatalities in fires during 2010/11. However, they accounted only for 2% of all fires. These fires can be deadly, even though they are less common than other types. How can you prevent them?

You should know the hazards of flammable liquids in your workplace and conduct a COSHH assessment. For hazardous substances, COSHH assessments must be done. These assessments concern safe storage and use. Keep them out of direct ignition sources and in labeled containers.

CLASS “C” Fire

These fires are caused by energized electrical equipment. The electrical nonconductivity is important for the extinguishing medium. This type of fire can be smothered or blanketed with a non-conducting agent. On a Class C fire, water or any solution containing water should not be used. The circle should contain the letter “C”, if color-coded, it is blue.

Class C Fire Types Of Fire

Gas work is dangerous and can increase fire risk. Gas work should be done by qualified persons.

Although extinguishers are safe for class C gas fires it is not recommended to use them. A dry powder extinguisher is the best extinguisher for putting out a fire.

NOTE: Turn off the electricity as soon as possible

* Multiple symbols (ABC) may be used to identify extinguishers that are suitable for more than one class of fire. The extinguishing agent is generally called DRY CHEMICAL.

CLASS “D” Fire

a fire that involves combustible metals such as magnesium and titanium, zirconium, or lithium. The extinguishing agent is generally called DRY POWDERS. These extinguishers are identified by a star with the letter D. If color-coded, the star will be yellow.

Class D Fire Types Of Fire

While metals aren’t often considered combustible, there are some metals that can. Metals can also be conductors which helps a fire spread. All metals can melt and soften at high temperatures, which can cause problems if metal columns and joists are used in fires as structural elements.

Water can act as an accelerant for metal fires. So how do you deal with a class D fire in this situation? Dry powder extinguishers are available to deal with metal fires. The type of metal risk the extinguisher is intended for may affect the powder content. Sometimes, small metal fires can be put out with dry earth or sand.

CLASS “K” Fire

These are fires that occur in cooking appliances that use combustible cooking media like vegetable oils or animal fats. WET CHEMICAL is the extinguishing agent. These extinguishers must be identified with the letter “K”.

Class K Fire - Types Of Fire

A cooking fire that is ignited by liquids during food preparation is called a Class K fire. Although technically a type or liquid fire, Class K fires can be classified as their own distinct category. A wide variety of liquid cooking ingredients can be used to fuel cooking fires. Grease, vegetable fats, animal fats, and cooking oils are all possible fuel sources for Class K fires. Food service and restaurant workers are particularly concerned about Class K fires. These fires can prove to be far more dangerous and destructive than you might think. These types of fires can be put out by using chemical fire extinguishers.

OPERATIONS AND TYPES OF EXTINGUISHERS

Water extinguishers

Water extinguishers, which are used to put out fires that have been started by solid materials like wood, paper, and textiles, are the best way to combat them.

There are four types of water extinguishers available: water spray, water jet, water with additives, water mist, or fog.

Water jet extinguishers spray water on the fire, cool it, and prevent it from reigniting. They shouldn’t be used with live electrical equipment.

Water spray extinguishers are made from very fine water droplets. Each droplet is enclosed by non-conductive air. Water spray fire extinguishers are approved for a 35kV dielectric test approval. This means that they have been tested at one meter on a 35,000 Volt electric source.

Water extinguishers that contain additives are water extinguishers that have foaming chemicals added. Water loses its natural surface tension, which allows it to soak into the burning materials better. A smaller extinguisher that contains chemicals can have the same fire rating of a larger extinguisher that is water-only.

Water mist or fog extinguishers spray water in the form or fog. The droplets from the water spray extinguisher are smaller than the ones from the water mist or fog extinguishers. The droplet’s surface area is proportional to its size. This makes it evaporate faster and absorbs heat energy more quickly. However, the downside to this is that the droplet’s size will affect how powerful and heavy the cloud of water.

All water extinguishers come with a red label

Pressurized Water Extinguishers, 2 ½ Gallon:

FOR USE ON: Class “A” fires

EFFECTIVE RANGE – APPROX. 30 to 40 FT.

DURATION – APPROX. ONE (1) MINUTE

TO ACTIVATE:

  • Push the lever or pull out the pin from the top of the extinguisher handle.
  • Grab the hose and squeeze the handles together. The stream will be directed at the base of your fire.
  • You can turn the handle on and off by simply squeezing, or releasing it.
Types Of Fire

Carbon dioxide extinguishers (CO2)

Because they can be used on electrical fires, CO2 extinguishers work well in places that have a lot of electrical devices such as servers rooms or offices. Carbon dioxide extinguishers don’t leave any residue like foam extinguishers. These extinguishers can be used for Class B fires that involve flammable liquids like petrol or paraffin. The CO2 extinguishers are used to smother the fire and cut off air supply.

Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers CO2 have a black label.

FOR USE ON: Class “B” and “C” fires

EFFECTIVE RANGE – APPROX. 8 FT.

DURATION – APPROX. 15 SECONDS

TO ACTIVATE:

  • The extinguisher should be carried to the fire.
  • The safety pin or locking device should be removed. Point the horn at the fire and release the extinguisher by pressing the handles together. You should not place your hand on any part of the extinguisher when you are discharging it. This could cause a freeze burn.
  • Move the horn slowly from one side to the other at a moderate speed. A rapid movement can dissipate the vapour, while a slow movement could discharge more than necessary.
  • To prevent re-ignition, continue to use contents for a brief time after the fire is out.

Dry Chemical Extinguishers

FOR USE ON: Class “A”,”B”,” and “C” fires

EFFECTIVE RANGE: 10 TO 14 FT.

DURATION: APPROX. 30 SECONDS

TO ACTIVATE:

  • Take the extinguisher by the handle to the fire and follow the instructions. Instructions typically read: Remove safety pins or locking devices, grab nozzle and squeeze the handles.
  • You can reduce the flame intensity by directing the stream towards the base of the flames. The stream should then move quickly from one side to the other to ensure full coverage.
  • For small spill fires where the whole width of the stream can be covered, attack the fire from its front. The entire spillage area will be covered by the stream.
  • You can work with any breeze or wind at your back.

Halon 1211/1301 Extinguishers:

FOR USE ON: Class “B” and “C” fires

EFFECTIVE RANGE – APPROX. 10 TO 13 FT.

DURATION – APPROX. 14 SECONDS

TO ACTIVATE:

  • Place the extinguisher upright at the scene of the flames
  • Pull the ring lock pin, and point the nozzle at base of the fire. Press the trigger and carrying handle together.
  • Move the extinguisher side-to-side.

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

FOR USE ON: Class “K” fires

EFFECTIVE RANGE: 2 ½ GALLON CAPACITY – APPROX. 8 TO 12 FT.

DURATION: APPROX. 35 – 45 SECONDS

TO ACTIVATE:

  • Take the extinguisher by the handle to the fire and follow the instructions. Instructions typically read: Remove safety pins or locking devices, grab nozzle and squeeze the handles.
  • The agent is released as a fine spray which minimizes the risk of hot grease splashing.
  • A thick foam blanket, which is used to provide rapid-fire extinguishments and to cool the appliance while also cooling it, is created to prevent re-ignition.

PROCEDURES

  • To comply with OSHA Standards and the Philadelphia Fire Code, National Fire Protection Association Standard #110, and to ensure compliance with OSHA Standards, all portable fire extinguishers must be inspected monthly. This function will be performed by the Building Emergency Coordinator (BEC), in both the common areas as well as in the mechanical rooms. FES will be informed by the BEC that visual checks were completed and any deficiencies need to be addressed.
  • The occupants of private and laboratory areas must inspect the extinguishers at least once per month. For corrective action, all problems should be reported to the Department of Fire & Emergency Services by calling 215-573-7857.
  • Fire extinguishers are meant to be visible at all times in emergency situations. Safety inspectors, Building Preparedness planners, and their staff, Facilities Services personnel and housekeepers are all part of the University environment. While performing their daily tasks, they perform visual inspections.
  • Visual inspections will verify that extinguishers have been clearly marked and placed in their appropriate places. Access is not blocked or damaged. The sight gauge is within the correct range. Seals are not broken. FES must be notified by all University employees of any issues.

ANNUAL MAINTENANCE INSIGHT

In accordance with the Philadelphia Fire Code, the Department of Fire and Emergency Services will coordinate the annual maintenance inspection of portable fire extinguishers. Fire & Emergency Services will also continue to coordinate hydrostatic testing and conduct quarterly inspections.

Fire is one of the most dangerous thing that can happen to your home or at work. Having some fire extinguishers with you can reduce the damage because it will stop a fire before it gets too big. If a fire occurs, you have to know what types of fire is it because they are in different sizes and shapes.

Operation of Extinguishers:

A fire safety program should include portable extinguishers. These extinguishers are intended to fight fires in the early stages. Anybody who attempts to use an extinguisher must be trained properly. It is not recommended to use portable fire extinguishers for well-established fires.

In the Event of Fire:

  • Notify the occupants to immediately clear the area and sound the alarm.
  • PennComm can be reached at 215-573-7333, or 511 from any campus telephone.
  • It is essential that an operator of a fire extinguisher knows how to use it. Check name plate if in doubt. Avoid heat and smoke by staying low and don’t get stuck in corners. Make sure you have an escape route. Do not attempt to put out fire on your own; seek help.

Routine checks of extinguishers should always be taken into consideration

  • The extinguishers were charged and tagged within the time limit (1 year).
  • It is easy to see the extinguisher from afar.
  • The extinguisher was not damaged or moved from its place.

RESPONSIBILITY

To ensure that campus is safe from fire, both employees and supervisors must fulfill the roles outlined herein. Only use a fire extinguisher if you can identify the type of fire and are confident that it is suitable for that type of fire. Only fight a fire if you have an escape route that is safe from the flames.


Fire Safety MCQs Test:

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