Article provided by: South Coast Fire & Safety Inc
Skilled experts understand the importance of being well equipped during an industrial fire. Due to the fire class, experts also understand which extinguishing agent to use.
In this article, we would like to show you the differences between the individual fire classes, since the choice of the wrong extinguishing medium in case of a fire, can have devastating effects. Understanding fire classes can also ensure you are well equipped with the correct industrial fire safety equipment.
Fire Classes & Extinguishers
The use of a fire extinguisher that is not suitable for extinguishing the relevant fire class may result in increased fire expansion or, in the worst case, an explosion. Each fire extinguisher has a pictogram showing the proper fire rating. This pictogram shows you whether the fire extinguisher is suitable for extinguishing the respective source of fire.
Class A Fire
In a class, A fire includes all solid substances that occur primarily in nature. These substances usually burn under the formation of embers, so that an extinguishing agent must be used, which not only fights the flames but also quenches the embers. For this purpose, water is excellent, or fire extinguishers that are filled with foam or powder. The fire class A includes substances such as wood, coal, textiles, paper, some plastics, hay, straw, and fibers.
Class B Fire
The fire class B covers all liquid, flammable substances as well as substances that become liquid due to the effect of heat. The liquid substances include, for example, gasoline, oils, greases, paints, varnishes, and alcohol. The substances that melt and become fluid when heated include, for example, plastics such as PVC, wax, tar, resin and various plastics. Substances of fire class B burn exclusively with flames and do not produce any embers.
The extinguishing agent smothers class B substances. For this purpose, a fire blanket can be used or foam fire extinguishers, ABC fire extinguishers, fire extinguishers with BC powder and CO2 extinguishers (carbon dioxide).
Class C Fire
The fire class C includes all flammable gases such as propane, methane, town gas, natural gas, butane, ethyne (acetylene) and hydrogen. They do not produce embers, but only burn with a flame. When gas fires, it should be noted that they cannot be quenched with water, foam or carbon dioxide (CO2) and thus are entirely unusable as an extinguishing agent. Extinguishing media are fire extinguishers with ABC powder and BC powder.
Class D Fire
Class D fires are infrequent in everyday life since these are fires of combustible metals such as aluminum, magnesium, sodium, potassium or lithium. These metals burn exclusively at very high temperatures of well over 1000 ° C and are considered very difficult to extinguish. Fire class D metal fires must never be extinguished with water as the water would split into water vapor and oxygen at high temperatures, which would result in oxyhydrogen gas formation with a high risk of explosion. Metal fires are extinguished exclusively with special metal firing powder, dry sand, dry cement powder or dry litter or cattle salt.
Class F Fire
The fire class F includes fires of edible fats and edible oils, which are typically found in kitchens in everyday life. With overheated edible fat and cooking oil, there is a high risk of re-ignition, which often leads to severe injuries.Fire blankets are only partially suitable for extinguishing grease fires, the same applies to powder fire extinguishers and CO2 extinguishers. So-called large fire extinguishers, which are filled with a special extinguishing agent, which saponifies the burning liquid, are best suited.
Regardless of what type fire you are experiencing, be prepared with the right equipment. We stock a range of proven industrial fire safety equipment, only from the most trusted companies known and respected for their innovation, quality, and dependability.
Types of equipment include super medical bags, oxygen kits, fire blankets and more, that are ideal for EMS agencies or rescue squads