Types of Fire Extinguishers & Why They’re Different

We all understand what a fire extinguisher is, at least on a basic level. It’s a portable device designed to help put out small fires that aren’t spreading. They’re easy to use if you understand the PASS acronym (pull, aim, squeeze, and sweep) and are effective when used properly.

What many people don’t understand is that not every fire extinguisher is equipped to put out every type of fire. Some fire extinguishers can actually cause more harm than good when used on the wrong type of fire, putting you and anyone else in the area in great danger.

So, are there different types of fire extinguishers?

The truth is there are different classes of fire extinguishers and they’re each designed to put out different types of fires. This might make it confusing for homeowners and business owners, but the differences are easy to understand no matter what industry you’re in.

Let’s take a look at the five different classes of fire extinguishers and what makes them different:

  • Class A – this class is capable of putting out fires involving everyday, ordinary materials like paper, cloth, and wood.
  • Class B – this class is capable of putting out fires involving combustible and flammable liquids such as grease, oil, gasoline, and even oil-based paint.
  • Class C – this class is capable of putting out fires involving electrical equipment such as tools, appliances, or any other equipment that’s plugged into an electrical source.
  • Class D – this class is capable of putting out fires involving flammable metals such as magnesium, titanium, and sodium.
  • Class K – this class is capable of putting out fires involving animal oils, vegetable oils, and other fats in cooking appliances.

In addition to the five types listed above, you’ll also find multipurpose fire extinguishers that combine multiple classes into one extinguisher. For example, you’ll find an AB class, AC class, BC class, and even an ABC class.

Knowing when and where to use each one is crucial when owning a home or a business. You should also build a good relationship with the best fire restoration Tampa has to offer.

Fire Extinguishers for the Home

When purchasing a fire extinguisher for the home, you’re largely going to focus on the A, B, and C classes. If you want to purchase each one, that’s 100% up to you, but the average family is better off purchasing a multipurpose Class ABC fire extinguisher.

As far as where the fire extinguisher should be located inside the home, it’s crucial that it’s easily accessible within seconds of a fire starting. Since most fires happen in the kitchen, this is a prime location to store one. Make sure it’s near a door and not located in a potential danger area.

You should also make sure each level of your home has a fire extinguisher. Some other prime locations (and you can never have too many) are the master bedroom, the garage, and the hallway. Anywhere where there’s a high risk of a fire starting should have a nearby extinguisher.

Finally, you should ensure every family member inside the home is aware of the locations and understands how and when to use a fire extinguisher. Having a fire damage restoration Sarasota residents trust can help alleviate any eye sores throughout the home.

Fire Extinguishers for the Business

It’s recommended that all businesses have Class ABC fire extinguishers equipped throughout the property to ensure safety no matter what happens or where it occurs. Class ABC extinguishers put out most types of fires and are the most common for a reason.

Outside of the Class ABC fire extinguishers, certain businesses should equip their areas with a Class D or Class K fire extinguisher. For example, many factories that deal with flammable metals should have Class D fire extinguishers available and easily-accessible.

On the other hand, anyone who owns a cafeteria, catering business, meal prep company, restaurant, or food truck should equip their kitchen area with a Class K fire extinguisher. These are standard for putting out commercial kitchen fires and are trusted by everyone!

Have You Experienced a Fire Recently in the Tampa Area?

A fire can break out at any moment, especially if you’re not paying attention. Sometimes they’re preventable, while other times it’s just a freak accident that you couldn’t have done anything about. Either way, you must be prepared for the worst case scenario at all times.

When a fire does break out, a fire extinguisher can help eliminate the threat when used properly. Of course, it won’t reverse any fire damage Tampa residents have already faced from the fire. That’s where we step in to shed a little bit of light on the horrendous situation you and your family finds itself in.


If you’re looking to return your home or business to its original state following a fire (or any type of damage in Tampa, Florida), contact DriRite today. We’ll send a specialist out your way to assess the situation and provide a free estimate. We can’t wait to help you find comfort during this time of need.

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