In the United States there are five types of fire extinguishers.
Class A extinguishers are used for ordinary combustible materials such as wood, cardboard, paper, and most plastics. The numerical rating on these types of extinguishers indicate the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Class B extinguishers are used for combustible or flammable liquids such as kerosene, grease, gasoline, and oil. The numerical rating indicates the approximate number of square feet of fire it can extinguish. Class C fires involve electrical equipment, such as circuit breakers, outlets, wiring, and appliances. The C classification means it is non conductive, so there is no risk of electrical shock, there is no numerical rating. Class D extinguishers are typically found in chemical laboratories. They are for fires that contain combustible metals; titanium, potassium, magnesium, and sodium. These also have no numerical rating and are designed for Class D fires only. Class K extinguishers are designed for kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats. Often this type is found in restaurant kitchens.
Dangers and Clean-Up of Extinguisher Explosions
One of the biggest dangers with fire extinguishers comes from using the wrong type of extinguisher to fight a fire. Using a Class A water extinguisher on an electric or grease fire can cause electrical shock and/or explosions. Using a Class B or Class C carbon dioxide extinguisher on a chemical fire may cause violent explosives that led to severe injury or death. Units left outside or in damp areas are prone to corrosion causing an extinguisher to explode. Dry chemical extinguisher explosions present the biggest problem, the fumes can be toxic, and often deplete oxygen supplies where the explosion takes place. These extinguishers also contain chemicals that deplete the ozone layer and contribute to global warming. Clean-up is a job better left to professionals.
Fire extinguisher explosions leave behind a fine, dry powder, or a wet foam. Both require proper cleaning. At 11th Hour our technicians are all certified, experienced, cleaners. We handle all types bio-hazard cleaning from chemical spills to gross filth properties, and in addition crime scenes, including homicide, suicide, and unattended death are also expertly cleaned by us. If you live in MN, and a fire extinguisher has exploded, we are here to help you.
Call us 612-251-3275 anytime 24/7 and we will be glad to answer any questions, or, set up an appointment to clean your home, vehicle, or office.