Fire extinguishers are one of those things that we plainly recognize everywhere but barely examine. Since Fire Prevention Month is only a few days away, we’re putting this life-saving equipment in the spotlight.
If you are familiar with fire extinguishers, you’d know that they have an infographic indicating their classification, in the form of letters. Some have multiple letters on them, symbolizing the different types of fire they can put out. Selecting the right type will depend on factors such as, but not limited to, the types of fire anticipated and the type of occupancy.
Class A fire extinguishers are for fires involving ordinary combustible solid materials. Examples of these are paper, wood, cloth, rubber, and plastic. Class A can be water type, multi-purpose dry chemical type, or wet chemical type. This is suitable for residences and small commercial spaces.
Class B fire extinguishers are for fires involving flammable and combustible liquid and gas. Examples are gasoline, oil, grease, acetone. Class B can be Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF), Film Forming Fluoro-Protein (FFFP) foam, carbon dioxide, or dry chemical type. This is suitable for large commercial spaces housing the aforementioned examples, institutional, and industrial building types.
Class C fire extinguishers are for fires involving energized electrical equipment. For any fire caused by something that can be plugged in and has an electrical current, this is the one for it. Class C should be non-conducting agents and can be carbon dioxide or halogenated type. This is suitable for large office buildings and educational facilities.
Class D fire extinguishers are for fires involving combustible metals. Examples of these are aluminum, sodium, magnesium, potassium, and other similar materials. This is suitable for large commercial, industrial, and transportation facilities.
Fire extinguishers can be found mounted on walls or columns, sitting in a corner, or on wheels, depending on the space requirements. They should always be inspected, maintained, and placed in an area where they can be easily spotted and accessed in case of fire.
Disclaimer: This article only serves as a guide and should not replace professional consultation.
Reference: 2019 Revised Implementing Rules and Regulations (RIRR) of RA 9514, also known as the Fire Code of the Philippines.