What is a Class A Fire Extinguisher Used For?
A Class A fire extinguisher is used to extinguish fires involving ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, textiles, and plastics. These types of fires are characterized by the presence of solid materials that are burning or smoldering. The extinguishing agent used in a Class A fire extinguisher is typically water or a water-based solution.
Few people know that fire extinguishers come in various forms and precise classes to identify the kinds of flames they can put out.
The types of flames that portable fire extinguishers are intended to put out determine their classification. Extinguishers are labeled with either letter-shaped or pictorial symbols that show what types of flames they are intended for, and there are five primary categories of fuel and extinguishers.
Ordinary flammable materials like cloth, wood, paper, rubber, and many polymers are involved in class A fires. Therefore, a-rated extinguishers are made to put out fires involving these common flammable items.
What Are Class A Fires?
To better comprehend what a Class A fire is and what a Class A fire extinguisher is meant to perform, it is necessary first to grasp what a Class A fire is.
Class A fires are those that involve common combustibles like wood, paper, rubber, clothing, and even plastics. The fact that a Class A fire’s fuel sources produce ash as they burn is one of its most distinguishing characteristics. They use ordinary materials typically found in homes and offices and are the most basic flames. A Class A substance can be identified because it burns and produces ash.
Class A fire extinguishers are useful for putting out different types of flames.
Class A Fire Extinguishers: Types and Applications
As was already said, there are many different kinds of extinguishers available. What types are, therefore, commonly rated for Class A fires?
- Water: The goal of a water extinguisher is to put out a fire by taking away its heat or “breaking the fire triangle.” It is an easy fix for the Class A fire, the most basic type.
- Foam: This extinguishing material is frequently used for Class A fires and aids in cooling and suffocating fires.
- Multipurpose Dry Chemical: Class A, B, and C fires can all be put out using multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguishers. For example, to put out a Class A fire, the agent in these types disrupts the chemical reaction in the Fire Triangle (fuel, oxygen, heat, and a chemical reaction).
It should be noted that conventional (BC) dry chemical fire extinguishers are only designed to put out Class B and C fires and are ineffective against Class A fires.
- Clean Agent: Halogenated, or “clean,” agents are used in these extinguishers to prevent region contamination and be more environmentally friendly. This substance halts the chemical process and cools the material at the same time to extinguish the fire’s heat source. Unfortunately, smaller portable devices don’t carry enough agents to be rated for Class A flames, while bigger handheld models (11 lbs and larger) can.
- Water Mist: A recent innovation, water mist extinguishers can also function as “clean agent” types. The mist removes the types of water damage a standard water extinguisher causes and is safe to use on live electric wires. When a Class C threat might be present, this chemical extinguishes the heat from a fire and is typically utilized as a Class A extinguisher.
For example, the multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher can be used on Class A and other sorts of fires, whereas the water extinguisher is only ever used on Class A fires.
You must use a fire extinguisher designated for the sort of fire you are putting out. However, using the correct fire extinguisher could, at best, be ineffectual and, at worst, could prevent the fire or hazard from spreading.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher?
After making your purchases, acquaint yourself with the fire extinguisher instructions so you’ll be ready to put out a fire if one breaks out. In most situations, using a fire extinguisher is a simple process. PASS is the method used by the majority of fire extinguishers to work:
- To remove the tamper seal from the fire extinguisher, pull the pin.
- Aim the fire extinguisher low and point the nozzle at the fire’s base.
- Squeeze the fire extinguisher’s handle to let the extinguishing agent out.
- Sweep the nozzle side to side while aiming it at the fire’s base until it goes out.
The cartridge-operated fire extinguishers, such as those used in some industrial settings, require an additional step, even though the PASS approach works on the majority of fire extinguishers you’ll come across. These devices require the activation of an external pressure cartridge initially.
Fire Extinguisher Safety Tips
To use a fire extinguisher, you don’t need to be a certified fireman, but that doesn’t mean you should use it carelessly on any fire! You should safely leave the building and wait for your fire department to take care of the matter if you are unsure that you can put out the fire and that you have a clear way to safety. Maintaining your extinguisher properly will guarantee that it functions when needed. Every year, ensure your unit is clean and damage-free, and check the pressure levels to ensure they are suitable.
Call the professionals immediately if you require Class A fire extinguishers or are unsure which class and kind would be appropriate for your requirements. They can offer you all the knowledge and instruction required to safeguard your property and people.
How to purchase your fire extinguisher
You may start looking for the best extinguisher for your home now that you know how many you need and what kind to buy. First, search for fire extinguishers that are simple to lift. Although larger extinguishers could have greater strength, you still need to know how to utilize them appropriately.
How much is a fire extinguisher?
Costs for different sizes and types of fire extinguishers vary. Smaller 5lb devices normally cost $40–60, but bigger commercial ones can cost more than $200. A 10lb extinguisher can cost over $100. 2 Make sure you buy the appropriate extinguisher size for the area you need to secure.
Do fire extinguishers expire?
Although a fire extinguisher’s contents do not expire the same way that food does, if the pressure is allowed to drop, the extinguisher will eventually lose its effectiveness. Therefore, fire extinguishers should be checked for damage and pressure levels every year. However, a fire extinguisher that has recently lost pressure can sometimes be replaced. For $25 to $50, fire extinguishers can be recharged.
Where should Class A fire extinguishers be located?
Class A fire extinguishers should be located in areas where there is a risk of fires involving ordinary combustibles, such as offices, kitchens, and storage areas. They should also be clearly marked and easily accessible in case of an emergency.
Can Class A fire extinguishers be used on other types of fires?
While Class A fire extinguishers are designed specifically for fires involving ordinary combustibles, they should not be used on Class B (flammable liquids and gases) or Class C (electrical) fires. Using a Class A extinguisher on a Class B or Class C fire can cause the fire to spread or create a shock hazard. It is important to use the appropriate type of extinguisher for the type of fire present.