Portable Fire Extinguishers

According to the NFPA many catastrophic fires could have been avoided had they been extinguished while they were still small. Having the correct portable fire extinguisher nearby can save lives and property if used properly.

There are many different types of fire extinuishers available, each designed to protect against certain fires. Interstate Fire Systems services and sells all types of fire extinguishers for any hazard. If you call or visit our office our knowledgable staff will be happy to assist you in determining what type of portable fire extinguisher is right for you. The following information will also help you better understand the different classes and types.

Classes of fires

Paper graphic a Class A fire extinguishers are designed to put out fires of ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, cardboard, etc.
Gas Graphic b Class B fires include those that involve flammable liquids such as grease, gasoline, oil, etc. Water should never be used on this kind of fire as it may spread the fire without putting it out.
Electric Graphic c Class C fire extinguishers are used on electrical types of fires such as appliances, electric panels, power tools, etc. Water should not be used on electrical fires because of the risk of electric shock.
  d Class D fires involve combustible metals such as magnesium or titanium. These fires burn at very high temperatures and may react violently to water or other chemicals.

Types of fire extinguishers

Ext Water Water Extinguishers
Pressurized water type fire extinguishers are suitable for class A fires, but not for class B, C and D fires. These types of fires can react or spread, becoming more of a hazard.
Ext DC Dry Chemical
Dry chemical fire extinguishers are usually rated for multi-use, and have more than one designator(A-B, B-C, or A-B-C, etc.). It is important to have the correct dry chemical fire extinguisher as each is filled with a different checmical. A general purpose fire extinguisher with a rating A-B-C is usually suitable for most homes, and many businesses, depending on the particular hazzard. The advantage to dry chemical is that they leave a blanket of residue over the fire preventing reignition.
Ext co2

Carbon dioxide
CO2 fire extinguishers are used for class B and C fires.They work by displacing the oxygen in a given area, suffocating and cooling the fire. These extinguishers should not be used on class A fires because they may reignite.They also should not be used on class D fires as reaction may occur. The advantage to using carbon dioxide is that is does not leave behind any hrmful residues, making it suitable for fires involving delicate electronic equipment.

Sentry Clean

Clean Agent
Clean agent fire extinguishers are ideal for protecting valuable electrical equipment, such as computer rooms, communication equipment, and data storage facilities because they leave no residue. These fire extinguishers replace Halon 1211 with environment friendly chemicals.

Using A Fire Extinguisher

A portable fire extinguisher is only effective if used properly. The following tips will help you determine when and how to use your fire extinguisher.

Before attempting to control the fire be sure the following conditions apply.


•   The building has been notified and is being evacuated.
•   The fire department has been called.
•   The fire is small and contained.
•   Your path to the exit is clear behind you.
•   You can stay low and avoid the smoke.
•   You have the proper extinguisher for the hazard.
•   You have read the instructions.


Remember the word PASS, it will help in remembering the correct use of a fire extinguisher.

Pull the pin from the fire extinhguisher.
Aim towards the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle on the extinguisher, releasing the chemical.
Sweep from side to side, pushing the fire backwards until extinguished.

For more information visit the NFPA and learn more about fire prevention.