A, B, C, D, K: what you need to know about the five classes of fires

Did you know that are different types of fires with varying classifications? This is because fires have different properties depending on the materials being burned. In this article, the fire safety experts at Guard-X in Montreal identify five classifications of fires and indicate which portable extinguisher is needed to put out each one.  

Class A (water fire extinguisher)

This type of fire is caused by the combustion of solid materials such as wood, paper, fabric and plastic. It involves two stages of combustion: smouldering (flameless) and rapid (with flames). In the smouldering stage, embers burn slowly. The incipient fire can remain in the flameless state for a long time. However, a slight air current can be enough to create rapid combustion and generate a full-blown fire.


Class B (ABC or BC powder fire extinguisher)

Often referred to as grease fires, Class B fires involve liquid fuels such as gasoline, oil, solvent, paint, varnish, alcohol, grease and chemical products. Unlike Class A fires, they don’t involve a smouldering stage. Quashing the flames will fully put out this type of fire.


Class C (carbon dioxide fire extinguisher)

This type of fire involves electronics such as a television, radio, stove, electric panel, electric motor or transformer. Class C fires present a risk of electrocution. It’s therefore essential that they’re extinguished by firefighters or other experts.


Class D (dry powder fire extinguisher)

This type of fire is caused by the ignition of a metal material such as aluminum, magnesium, sodium, iron shavings or potassium. Class D fires are usually intense and bright and occur mainly in industrial settings.


Class K (wet chemical fire extinguisher)

Similar to grease fires, Class K fires result from the combustion of oils or fats used with commercial cooking appliances. They’re distinct from Class B fires only in that they must be put out using specialized extinguishing agents that meet food industry standards


Count on Guard-X for superior fire extinguishers

An incipient fire can only be put out quickly and effectively if the correct extinguishing agent is used. To find the right portable fire extinguisher to protect your home, garage, store or building in Greater Montreal, contact us today.