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What are the classes of fires and is it different for different countries?

Fires are categorized into different classes based on their fuel and heat source. For e.g. Class A fires are fires of all solid materials, usually of organic nature like wood, textiles, curtains, furniture and plastics. Table 1 below gives a comparison clearly lists the  fire classes in different regions of the world. And yes, some of the classes are different for different countries. For example, the cooking oil fires classified as ‘F’ in Australasia and Europe is classified as ‘K’ in America. So remember in order to use the right one, you must choose the right one

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Why can’t I use one fire-extinguisher for every fire?

Unfortunately, there is no universal fire-extinguishing agent. Therefore it is important to choose and use the right fire extinguisher. If you use a Class A (Water) fire extinguisher on a Class B Fire (Flammable liquids like petrol, gasoline, paints, etc.) you could escalate the fire and risk person and property to extreme danger and fire loss. Similarly, if water is used to put out an electrical equipment fire, the operator would be in serious danger. A non-electrical conducting extinguisher must be used for Class E fires. Different regions of the world have divided fires into broad classifications for extinguishing purposes to help people choose the most effective extinguisher for the respective class of fires for appropriate use. What is a Class F fire extinguisher? Cooking oil / fats fires have very high temperatures (360°C+) and traditional fire extinguishers are ineffective in fighting them as they do not cool the burning oil sufficiently.  It may even re-ignite posing a serious threat to the operator. The Fire Terminator Sachet for Class F Fires is a specially formulated solution that helps in sealing the surface of the burning oil and prevents re-ignition.

Is it safe to attempt to put out a fire by myself?

You should only attempt to put out a fire, if the fire is in its initial stages and only if you are completely confident that you can handle it. Always exercise caution. Remember always that even a small fire can become an inferno and endanger your safety in minutes. 

What are the letters and symbols on fire extinguishers?

Letters and symbols on fire extinguishers show the classes of fire they handle. Flammable materials are categorized by how they burn. They are briefly classified under different letters and symbols to show the classes of fire they handle. It is best to have a multipurpose fire extinguisher in your home like the Fire Terminator SLAM, which is classed for A & B Fires; the Fire Terminator Milky SLAM for A/B/C fires and the Fire Terminator Sachet especially for the Kitchen. Remember, using the wrong class of extinguishers can escalate the fire and/or cause serious injuries.

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