Fire and safety equipment usage information

If you discovered a fire, would you know what to do? Learn to identify the fire and know the right equipment used to tackle it. Fire Link Fire and Safety Services offer a variety of courses – for more information please call (01985) 847244 or email for more information.

There are generally 5 classes of fire. Thankfully only classes A, B and C are routinely encountered. The remaining classes of fire are difficult to calculate due to a number of additional considerations being required. It is recommended that  expert advice is sought.

The classes of fire are based in the fuel and means of extinction. Whilst many fires involve electricity, it is not considered a specific class. However, only certain types of extinguishers are considered safe to use on electrical fires. It is essential that you, or the safety staff, recognise the correct type of extinguisher required before attempting to put out a fire. Using the wrong type of fire could be catastrophic, making the effects of the fire worse and/or injure the fire extinguisher operator.

Class A (Combustible Solids)

Fires involving combustible solids such as paper, wood, textiles, rubber, plastic and others.

Extinguished by cooling, usually with water.

Class B (Flammable Liquids)

Fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, oil, paint, solvents and others

Extinguished by smothering (limiting oxygen supply) with foam, powder or CO2 extinguishers

Class C ( Flammable Gases)

Fires involving flammable gases such propane, butane, actylene and more

Extinguished by starving using a powder extinguisher

Class D (Flammable Metals)

Fires involving aluminium, magnesium, lithium and more

Extinguished by using a specialist powder extinguisher

Class F (Cooking Oils)

Fire involving cooking fats and oils used in deep fat fryers

Extinguished by turning the hot oil into a soap like substance by using a wet chemical extinguisher

Electrical (Fires involving live electrical equipment)

Usually extinguished using CO2 or powder extinguishers