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Which Fire Extinguisher Should I Use

Wednesday, July 05, 2017
Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are a first aid tool that should be kept within businesses for small first-response situations. Before purchasing an extinguisher, make sure you have a proper smoke alarm system set up and an evacuation plan in place; then you are ready to start looking for extinguishers. This can seem overwhelming if you are not sure what the numbers and letters mean.

The letters pertain to the type of fire the extinguisher can put out.

  • A rating – trash, wood, or paper
  • B rating – flammable liquids
  • C rating – electrical
  • D ratings – combustible metals
  • K rating – cooking oils and fats

The most common is a multipurpose ABC extinguisher.

Numbers on an extinguisher pertain to the amount of solvent dispensed for A-class fires and the square footage controlled for B-class fires. A and B extinguishers are the only ones equipped with numbers.  If an extinguisher has a rating of 1-A, it can dispense the same amount of solvent as 1.25 gallons of water; 2-A the equivalent of 2.5 gallons of water. A 10-B rating means an extinguisher can contain 10 square feet of fire.

Combined, an extinguisher rating of 1-A:5-B:C, means it can dispense an equivalent of 1.25 gallons of water for A-class fires and cover 5 square feet for B-class fires, and uses a non-conductive solvent that is good for C-class fires.

Ahern can provide answers on the best extinguisher for your business and perform full inspections on them annually.  To purchase or to schedule your facility’s inspections, contact us today.

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