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What Do The Different Symbols On A Fire Extinguisher Indicate?
Fire extinguishers are essential and potentially lifesaving devices, and having one on hand will give you extra peace of mind if a fire breaks out. However, if the time comes and you need to use a fire extinguisher, you might need help if you have the wrong type.
Understanding the symbols on a fire extinguisher can help you in the future and eliminate any worries over being unprepared in an emergency. We’ll also explain the differences between the different types of fire extinguishers on the market.
Why Do Fire Extinguishers Have Symbols?
Fire extinguishers have two main symbols to help you identify the type. Your fire extinguisher will have two unique identifiers: a letter and a corresponding symbol. These labels help you determine your fire extinguisher’s effectiveness with specific types of fires to ensure that you know which extinguisher to use and why.
Know The 5 Categories Of Symbols: A, B, C, D, and K
You can understand these letters and symbols in five categories: A, B, C, D, and K. Here’s what each letter means, the purpose of extinguishers for each letter, and the corresponding symbols you’ll find on the extinguisher.
Type A Fire Extinguishers: Common Combustibles
A fire extinguisher with the letter “A” indicates that you should use this device on fires involving paper, wood, rubber, fabrics, plastics, trash, and other ordinary combustible materials. Along with the “A” label, these fire extinguishers will show a burning trash can placed next to a burning woodpile.
Type B Fire Extinguishers: Gases and Flammable Liquids
Fire extinguishers with a “B” label are only used for fires caused by gases, paints, oils, tar, lacquer, or other flammable liquids. Accompanying the “B” label is a symbol where you will find a gas canister on top of a roaring fire.
Typer C Fire Extinguishers: Live Electrical Equipment
Fire extinguishers with a “C” label indicate that you should use the device to prevent electrical fires. Any fires that involve live electrical equipment require a type “C” extinguisher, also identifiable by the corresponding symbol of a cord and electrical outlet with flames in the background.
Type D Fire Extinguishers: Combustible Metals
Type D fires occur when the flames originate from a combustible metal or metal alloy. Extinguishers for type D fires are indicated by a symbol of the letter “D” inside of a star. These extinguishers contain special agents to put out the fire, unique from other extinguisher types.
Type K Fire Extinguishers: Fires in Cooking Appliances
Type K fire extinguishers are for fires originating from cooking appliances with combustible items like oils, deep fryers, fats, and animal or vegetable oil. They are identified by a “K” label and a symbol of a kitchen pan with a fire inside.
Make Sure You Have The Right Type Of Extinguisher
The ultimate goal of any fire extinguisher is to put out the fire. As you can probably guess now that you’re familiar with the symbols, having the right extinguisher is key for putting out different types of fires.
When you’re selecting a fire extinguisher for your home, make sure you look at the symbols to identify each type and make a confident decision to help you in future emergencies. If you aren’t sure about which fire extinguisher is the best to buy, check out our list of the best fire extinguishers for your home.
Be Prepared With A Fire Safety Plan
In addition to having the right fire extinguisher ready, you’ll want a fire safety plan in the event of a fire. Our experts have created a sample fire safety plan for you, and also explain the top 5 potential fire safety hazards in your home.
Last but not least, it can’t hurt to have a fire escape ladder handy if you live in a multi-story home or high-rise building. We pick out the best ones for various situations in our fire escape ladder comparison.Tagged With: Fire Safety