Fire extinguishers can be identified in two different ways: by what materials they contain, and by what class of fire they extinguish. Thus, class B fire extinguishers extinguish class B fires. Knowing the different types of fire classes as well as the associated fire extinguishers is a great tool to have for fire safety.
What Is A Class B Fire Extinguisher Used For?
Class B fire extinguishers are used against class B fires. A class B fire is a fire involving combustible or flammable liquids as well as flammable gases. Examples of flammable liquids could be petrol, alcohol, lacquers, and certain oils. Examples of flammable gases could be hydrogen, propane, and butane. In the “fire triangle,” the fuel source in this class of fire is the flammable liquid or gas.
These fuel sources can be very dangerous and can’t be extinguished by water. If you try to put out a class B fire with a water extinguisher, you will be met with a spreading fuel source and a spreading fire. This is why it’s so important to know the type of extinguisher to use for each class of fire.
What Types Of Extinguishers Are Rated As Class B Fire Extinguishers?
The best way to put out a class B fire is to get the fire’s fuel source away from its supply of oxygen. There are a few types of fire extinguisher that are designed to do this. Many of these extinguishers can be found in common places like a home or business.
Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers:
This type of extinguisher works on class B fires by suffocating the fire with COs and removing the oxygen required for the fire to burn. It can also lower the temperature of the fire.
Foam fire extinguishers:
This type of extinguisher can work on class A and B fires. In the case of a class B fire, foam extinguishers work to separate the fire’s fuel and oxygen supply by creating a foamy film on the surface of the enflamed liquid.
Dry chemical fire extinguishers:
This type of extinguisher works on class B fires by disrupting the chemical reaction taking place in the fire triangle.
Fire Safety Tips
You can use any one of these fire extinguishers by remembering the “PASS” method: 1. “P” for pulling the pin, 2. “A” aim at the fire, 3. “S” squeeze the handle, and 4. “S” sweep the nozzle from side to side.
Another important thing to remember is to keep up the maintenance of your fire extinguisher. Regardless of what type of extinguisher you have, it’s vital to ensure that you get it inspected regularly (check your local fire safety recommendations on inspections for extinguishers). Depending on what kind of fire extinguisher you have, it’s likely that you’ll need to get it checked as often as monthly.
In addition to inspecting your fire extinguisher, make sure to replace or recharge it after each use. You never want to be left with an empty fire extinguisher in the event of the next fire.