Fires are classified as Class A, Class B, Class C, Class D, and Class K. Each type of fire involves a different flammable material and a special approach to safely putting it out.
- Class A fires involve solid materials such as wood, clothing, paper, and plastic. These fires are the most common and ones that you are most likely to be familiar with. Many Class A fires are caused unintentionally by accidents such as knocking over a candle to lightning hitting a tree. Class A fires are the easiest to put out and you can use a water or foam extinguisher. Class B fires involve flammable liquids rather than solids. Common causes for these fires include gasoline, alcohol, and oil. It is important to note that despite involving liquid, this Class does not include cooking fires. Water does not extinguish Class B fires and can spread the flammable liquid, making it worse.
- Class C fires involve electricity, and they can be started in old wiring, frayed cords, or faulty appliances. Should you notice an electrical fire, you must try to disconnect the appliance if it is safe to do so. Use a powder or carbon dioxide extinguisher to put these fires out. Water and foam cannot be used as they are both electrical conductors and can make the situation more dangerous.
- Class D fires are very rare and occur when metal ignites. These are rare because most metals require high temperatures to ignite but alkali metals like aluminum, potassium, and magnesium can ignite when exposed to water or air. You therefore, cannot use water on these fires.
- Class K fires involve cooking liquids and fats and sometimes can be grouped together with Class B fires. These fires have high flash points and commonly occur on the stove when pans are left unattended. And you must never use water as an extinguisher.
Which Type of Fire Can Be Safely Put Out with Water?
Water can be used to put out Class A fires that involve flammable solids such as wood, paper, or plastic.
Which Types of Fire Is Dangerous to Use Water On?
You should never use water on Class B fires involving flammable liquids or Class C fires involving electricity.
Why Does Water Put Out Fire?
Water creates a barrier between the oxygen and the fuel, cooling the fire and removing its heat source.
What Are The 4 Types of Fire Extinguishers
The four main types of fire extinguishers are water, foam, dry powder, and carbon dioxide.
Can a Flood Cause an Electrical Fire?
Any disaster can cause electrical fires. There are serious dangers associated with electricity during and after a flood.
Can You Be Electrocuted if Your House Floods?
Even if you have lost power, you can still be electrocuted in standing water. Never stand in water when turning off electricity or when using circuit breakers or fuses.
Should You Turn Off Power if Your House Floods?
If there is a flood, you want to turn off power, ideally while the house and power box are still dry.