Portable fire extinguishers are excellent pieces of safety equipment in the home and workplace. But it's as important to use them correctly as it is to place them in easy-access locations in case of a fire.
Fires are classified in one of three broad categories: A, B and C.
- Class A fires involve combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber and a variety of plastics.
- Class B fires are those involving flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease and tar.
- Class C fires involve energized electrical equipment such as wiring, fuses, circuit breakers, machinery or appliances.
Specialized fire extinguishers are available for each class. Never use a fire extinguisher rated for one kind of fire on another class. Contact your local fire department if you have questions about fire and fire-extinguisher classifications or safety.