What Are The Fire Extinguisher Types and Uses?

Posted November 07, 2023 by Koorsen Fire & Security


Fire extinguishers are vital tools for fire safety, but not all fires are the same. Different types of fires require specific extinguishing agents to combat them effectively. In this blog post, we will provide a comprehensive guide to the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses, empowering you with the knowledge to choose the right extinguisher for various fire scenarios.

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Class A Fire Extinguishers

Class A fire extinguishers are designed to combat fires involving combustible materials such as wood, paper, fabric, and plastics. These extinguishers use water or foam as the extinguishing agent to cool down the fire and create a barrier between the fuel and the oxygen.

Class B Fire Extinguishers

Class B fire extinguishers are suitable for fires involving flammable liquids and gasses like gasoline, oil, grease, propane and solvents. They use extinguishing agents such as carbon dioxide (CO2), dry chemicals (ABC or BC), or foam to smother the fire and interrupt the chemical reaction.

Class C Fire Extinguishers

Class C fire extinguishers are designed for fires involving electrical equipment and live electrical components. These extinguishers use non-conductive agents like CO2 or dry chemicals to suppress the fire without posing a risk of electric shock.

Class D Fire Extinguishers

Class D fire extinguishers are intended for fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, sodium, or potassium. These extinguishers use specialized dry powder extinguisher agents to inhibit the chemical reaction and cool down the metal.

Class K Fire Extinguishers

Class K fire extinguishers are primarily used in commercial kitchens where fires involving cooking oils and fats are common. These extinguishers use wet chemical agents that create a chemical reaction to form a soapy foam layer, effectively smothering the fire and preventing re-ignition.

Multi-Class Fire Extinguishers

Some fire extinguishers are labeled with multiple classes, such as ABC or BC. These multi-class extinguishers are versatile and suitable for extinguishing different types of fires. They typically use dry chemicals as the extinguishing agent.


Understanding the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses is crucial for effective fire safety. Whether you're dealing with ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids, electrical equipment, combustible metals, or cooking oils, choosing the right type of fire extinguisher can make all the difference in extinguishing the fire safely and efficiently. Remember to familiarize yourself with the fire classes and consult with Koorsen Fire & Security professionals to ensure that you have the appropriate fire extinguishers for your specific needs. By being prepared and equipped with the right tools, you can protect yourself, your loved ones, and your property from the devastating effects of fires.

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but Koorsen Fire & Security assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. It does not constitute professional advice. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information's accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.