It is unsafe to extinguish most fires with water. Instead, a fire extinguisher will safely put out a fire before it can grow. Checking a fire safety kit as extra baggage can cost between $50 and $200 depending on the airline. You can also pay our international shipping rate to have your kit shipped to the Study Abroad office at your host university.
These extinguishers are usually rated for multiple-purpose use. They contain an extinguishing agent and use a compressed, non-flammable gas as a propellant. Dry chemical extinguishers are rated for use in A, B, and C fires.
Dry chemical extinguishers put out fires by coating the fuel with a thin layer of fire retardant powder, separating the fuel from the oxygen. The fire retardant powder works by suffocating the fire, inhibiting the release of combustible vapors and interrupting the combustion chain reaction, which makes these extinguishers extremely effective. Watch the following video to learn how to use your fire extinguisher.
Where do I keep my fire extinguisher? One in every kitchen and any area where controlled flame is present.
Know Your Fire Extinguisher Labels
The older labeling system uses simple icons with an A, B or C designation to show which class or classes of fire it is safe to use a given extinguisher to fight.
The newer labeling system uses standard pictorial symbols which show the class or classes of fire for which the extinguisher is suited. The symbols identify the type of fire the extinguisher can be used for.
All fire extinguishers are color coded so you can see at a glance what the extinguisher is and what it contains.
British Standards BS7863 means that a block of color has now been placed above the operating instructions to cover 3-5% of the extinguisher area. The most common types of fire extinguisher available are shown below
||Use on the following Fire types
||Paper, Fabric, Wood, Textiles.
||Paper, textiles, flaming liquids (i.e. oil, alcohol, solvent paint and gases) & Electrical.
||Flammable liquids (not electrical fires).
||Electrical Fires and burning liquids such as grease, fat, oil, paint (not chip pan) electrical fires, but switch off supply first.
||Flammable liquids and live electrical equipment
Note: A red slash stroked through any of the fire classification symbols means it is unsafe to use that extinguisher on that class of fire. For example, a water-filled extinguisher would show the symbols for Class B and C fires slashed through, as water should never be used to extinguish a flammable liquid or an electrical fire.
If a symbol is not shown on the extinguisher's label, it simply means the extinguisher was not tested for that class of fire.
Fire Extinguisher Classifications
- Class A Extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles, such as wood and paper. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher refers to the amount of water or dry chemical the fire extinguisher holds and the amount of fire it will extinguish.
- Class B Extinguishers should be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as kitchen grease, gasoline, kerosene, paint, oil, etc. The numerical rating for this class of fire extinguisher states the approximate number of square feet of a flammable liquid fire that a non-expert person can expect to extinguish. NEVER USE WATER
- Class C Extinguishers are suitable for use on fires involving electrical equipment or wires. This class of fire extinguishers does not have a numerical rating. The presence of the letter “C” indicates that the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. NEVER USE WATER
Many extinguishers available today can be used on different types of fires and will be labeled with more than one designator, e.g. A-B, B-C, or A-B-C. Make sure that if you have a multi-purpose extinguisher it is properly labeled.