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All extinguishers are not the same and it can be overwhelming trying to figure out what type you need for your application. So, if you are scratching your head and wondering what type of extinguisher you need, hopefully this will be helpful to you!
TYPES OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS:
Dry Chemical (ABC) - These extinguishers contain dry chemical powder and will put out a Class A, B and C type of fire. What does that mean?
Class A - Paper & Wood
Class B - Combustible Liquid
Class C - Electrical
Typically Used: Dry Chemical extinguishers are typically used in garages, home kitchens, office buildings, warehouses, forklifts, boats, etc.
Sizes Available: Dry Chemical fire extinguishers come in 2 1/2 lb, 5 lb, 10 lb, 20 lb and 30 lb.
Carbon Dioxide (CO-2) - These extinguishers are charged with carbon dioxide and will put out a Class B and/or C type of fire. They are NOT rated for Class A Fires.
Typically Used: CO-2 extinguishers are typically used in electrical rooms or rooms with a large amount of electrical or combustible liquids. They are also commonly found in areas where welding will be taking place.
Sizes Available: CO-2 fire extinguishers come in 5 lb, 10 lb, 15 lb and 20 lb. 5, 10 and 15 lb CO-2 extinguishers are the most common.
K Type (aka K Guard) - K class extinguishers are manufactured specifically for the commercial kitchen use. The fire suppression agent is a foamy agent that is designed to work well with the fire suppression agent commonly found in kitchen hood fire suppression systems.
Typically Used: K Guard extinguishers are REQUIRED BY NFPA 10, for all commercial kitchen areas.
Sizes Available: A typical K Guard fire extinguisher is 6 Liters.
Water - Water fire extinguishers are charged with water and then pressurized with nitrogen.
Typically Used: Water extinguisher are for Class A FIRES ONLY and are used typically to standby in areas where there is a high risk of a Class A fire. Areas where burning is taking place on a regular basis (without presence of a fuel or electrical source). They are also commonly used for FIREWATCH. Great to have around any type of wood burning fire place, fire pits, etc.
Sizes Available: Water extinguishers come in one size and that is 2 1/2 Gal.
Halotron - Halotron extinguishers are charged with a gaseous agent (AKA clean agent) that leaves no residue once the extinguisher has discharged unlike a dry chemical fire extinguisher. Halotron extinguishers are rated for a variety of Class Fires and which ones depend on the size that you select with the smaller units only being rated for B and C Class Fires and the larger units being rates for A, B and C Class Fires.
Typically Used: Halotron fire extinguishers are typically used where there is sensitive electronic equipment that may otherwise be damaged if a dry chemical fire extinguisher was used on it. Typical applications include computer rooms, telephone rooms, clean rooms, data centers, records (archive) rooms, etc.
Sizes Available: Halotron fire extinguishers come in 1.4 lb, 2.5 lb. 5 lb, 5.5 lb, 11 lb and 15.5 lb.
Foam - Foam extinguishers are charged with AFFF foam.
Typically Used: Foam extinguishers are typically used where combustible liquids are a concern.
Sizes Available: Foam extinguishers come in 6 liter and 2 1/2 Gal. sizes.
Water Mist - Water Mist fire extinguishers are charged with de-ionized water (sold separately).
Typically Used: Water Mist fire extinguishers are ideal for hospital environments due to them being charged with de-ionized water instead of regular water. Also great for museums, book collections, record storage, telecommunication facilities and clean rooms.
Sizes Available: Water Mist fire extinguishers come in 2.5 Gal and 6 Liter sizes.
Class D - Class D fire extinguishers are designed to be used on metal fires. There are a variety of Class D extinguishers available; the type needed dependent on the type of metal that would be potentially burning. Please contact Beacon Fire Supply for assisting in the selection of this type of fire extinguisher.
HOW DO I KNOW WHAT SIZE I NEED?
ALL Fire Extinguishers have a UL Rating on them that tells you what type of fire that it has been tested and approved to suppress.
For example, if a fire extinguisher has a rating of 2A:10BC it means that it is rated to be used on a fire that is 2 square feet of a Class A fire or 10 square feet of a Class B or C type fire.
So the size that you need depends on what type of fire is expected in that specific area. You can always use a fire extinguisher that has a higher rating than what is required (ie if your fire marshall tells you that you need a 1A:10BC, you can use a 2A:10BC).
TYPICAL SIZE & TYPE APPLICATIONS:
NFPA 10 specifically details what size and type of fire extinguisher is required for each type of hazard. If you would like a copy of NFPA 10, please email us and we will be happy to send it to you.
Below are typical size applications for your reference:
Warehouse Areas: 10 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher with Wall Hook such as Amerex B456 or Buckeye 11340. Don't forget your fire extinguisher identification signs as required by NFPA 10 also available on Beacon Fire Supply.
Heavy Industrial Work Environments: 20 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher with Wall Hook such as Amerex A411 or Buckeye 12120. Vinyl fire extinguisher covers are recommended for heavy industrial environments to provide protection of the extinguisher (Available on Beacon Fire Supply)
Electrical Room: 10 lb. or 15 lb. CO-2 Fire Extinguishers are typically found in these rooms the size depending on the size of the room. For the 10 lb. CO-2, it would be a Buckeye 45600 and for a 15 lb CO-2 it would be a Buckeye 46100.
Commercial Kitchen: 6 Liter Class K (K Guard) Fire Extinguisher with Wall Hook for the kitchen area such as Amerex B260 or Buckeye 50006. For the dining room areas, a 5 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher is typical such as Amerex B500 or Buckeye 10914.
Shipyard Fire Watch/Welding Areas: 15 lb CO-2 Fire Extinguisher such as a Buckeye 46100.
Gas Pumps at Convenient Stores: 10 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher such as Amerex B456 or Buckeye 11340 installed in a high impact plastic cabinet also sold on Beacon Fire Supply. Don't forget to order replacement cabinet covers, hammers, etc.also available on Beacon Fire Supply!
Computer Rooms/Data Centers/Telco Rooms/Museums/Record Storage: 11 lb. Halotron Fire Extinguisher with wall hook such as Amerex 397.
Work Trucks/Personal Vehicles: 2 1/2 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers with Vehicle Brackets are typically mounted in the cab area such as Amerex B417T or Buckeye 13315. For larger work trucks, a 10# ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher with Heavy Duty Mounting Bracket (also sold by Beacon Fire Supply) is typical such as Amerex B456 or Buckeye 11340.
Hospitals/Assisted Living/Surgery Centers: There are several options here one of which is the Water Mist fire extinguisher that is charged with de-ionized water such as Amerex B270NM.
Beacon Fire Supply is also proud to offer the OVAL Fire Extinguisher line that was designed to specifically meet the new requirements for fire extinguishers compliant with the protruding object limits as required by ADA, IFC, ANSI A117.1, AODA and Joint Commission such as Model 10HABC, 10HABC-MR and 10JABC-MR.
Home Kitchen: Most kitchens have a 2 1/2 lb. ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher under their kitchen cabinet or in their pantry such as an Amerex B417T or Buckeye 13315. They both come with a sturdy wrap around bracket that will keep them secure.If you are still not sure what you need, please feel free to contact Beacon Fire Supply and our customer service representative will be happy to assist you with your selection process.