Types and Classes of Fires


If you own a residential, commercial or industrial property, you are responsible for the safety of the people and assets therein. Fire emergencies are among some of the biggest threats to safety that most people face in both living and work spaces today. Understanding fires is essential to implementing the best measures for fire prevention and safety. When you know the various types and classes of fire, it will be much easier to choose the most suitable fire solutions and fire safety products for your building.

There are different classifications of fires primarily based on the sources of fuel or causes. One of the key areas where the knowledge of fire types and classes will come in handy is when buying fire extinguishers. That is because fire extinguishers are rated for putting out different kinds of fires. Understanding the various types and classes of fires will enable you to know the potential fire risks on your building. As a result, you will know just the right types of fire extinguishers to acquire for proper protection whenever they occur.

The main types and classes of fires

Class A

These are referred to as ordinary combustibles, often caused by common flammable materials found in homes, offices, businesses and industrial environments. Class A fires result from materials like wood, plastics, fabrics, paper and garbage. These fires are a common occurrence in many residential, commercial and industrial premises today. Class A fires are not usually very destructive and can be extinguished using water or a solution of monoammonium phosphate.

Class B

Class B fires are mainly caused by flammable liquids or gas. The most popular fuel sources include gasoline, kerosene, paints, oils and other petroleum-based products. Class B fires also result from flammables gases like propane and butane. These fires are mainly common in industrial establishments that deal with the processing, distribution and storage of petroleum products and gas. To put out Class B fires, you need a suppression agent that can effectively smother the flames to deprive them of oxygen and stop the chemical reactions.

Class C

The main fuel source for class C fires is electrical components. The fires often result from faults like short circuits or shocks on electrical systems and equipment. The main areas of electrical faults that fuel class C fires include transformers, appliances and motors. These types of fires are common in industrial premises with heavy electrical equipment that use a lot of power. However, they can also occur in homes and small business spaces as a result of wiring problems or faulty electrical appliances. Extinguishing class C fires require immediate power shutdown and use of non-conductive chemical solutions.

Class D

Class D fires are fires that use combustible metals as their primary fuel source. Some of the metals that cause these fires include magnesium, titanium, potassium and aluminium but, you may also encounter others. Class D fires are mostly common in laboratories. However, combustible metals are also used in various industrial manufacturing and production procedures. Such fires are hazardous and cannot be put out using ordinary agents like water. The best way to extinguish class D fires is through using powder agents that absorb the heat and smothers the flames.

Class K

Most people often confuse class K fires with class B fires because they share relatively the same fuel sources. However, they are very different from each other. Class K fires are caused by combustible liquids and mainly occur in cooking areas during food preparation.   These fires are started and fuelled by cooking substances like cooking oils, vegetable fats, greases, and animal fats. Class K fires are dangerous and can cause grater destructions in a short time. They are usually common in restaurants, hotels and homes too. Class K fires require wet chemical fire suppression to put out.

Choose the Right Fire Extinguishers for Better Fire Safety

Now that you know the various types and classes of fires, you can easily determine the most appropriate fire extinguisher to buy for fire safety in your home, office, business or industrial establishment.

At Fire Safety Singapore, we provide a wider selection of industry standard portable fire extinguishers for dealing with all the above types and classes of fires. Simply talk to us for the best quality portable fire extinguishers Singapore.