Fire Extinguishers

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Every home, office, and place of business should have at least one portable fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is designed to put out small fires, or contain a fire until the Allouez Fire Department can arrive. Fire extinguishers are classified according to the type of fire they’re designed to put out:

  • Class A: Extinguishes ordinary combustibles or fibrous material such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and some plastics.
  • Class B: Extinguishes flammable liquids, such as fuel, oil, gasoline, kerosene, paint, paint thinners, solvents, and propane.
  • Class C: Puts out electrical fires, such as in electric motors, appliances, switches, wiring, fuse boxes, power tools, and transformers.
  • Class D: Extinguishes combustible metals such as magnesium, sodium, aluminum and potassium.
  • Class K: Extinguishes fires in cooking oil and grease, such as animal and vegetable fats.

Multi-purpose fire extinguishers

Some fire extinguishers carry multiple ratings. For example a fire extinguisher may be labeled A-B-C, meaning it can be used on most types of fires. This type of fire extinguisher is perfect for the home. When purchasing a fire extinguisher make sure to read the label. Also check to see that the extinguisher has been approved by a nationally-recognized independent testing laboratory.

If you have questions about buying or using a fire extinguisher, call the Allouez Fire Department, (920) 448-2806.

Using a fire extinguisher

Remember the word P.A.S.S.

  • P – Pull the pin
  • A – Aim low; point the extinguisher nozzle at the base of the flames
  • S – Squeeze trigger slowly while holding the extinguisher upright
  • S – Sweep the extinguisher from side to side, covering the area of the fire with the extinguishing agent

Tips for Fighting a Small Fire

  1. Sound the alarm and get everyone out
  2. Call 9-1-1
  3. Only attempt to fight the fire with an extinguisher if the fire is small and contained
  • Never try to extinguish a fire that is too large
  • Make sure you’re safe from hazardous smoke
  • If possible, try to confine and contain the fire by closing doors to it

Stop and leave the area immediately if

  • The fire begins to spread
  • Your path of escape is threatened
  • The extinguisher runs out of agent
  • The extinguisher is ineffective
  • You can no longer safely fight the fire