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Types of Fire Extinguishers Safety Talk… Let’s Clear Out The Smoke!

The different types of fire extinguishers are uniquely specialized to fight different types of fires. It’s important to know which type of fire extinguisher to use in different situations, as well as the hazards associated with using each type. For example, silver fire extinguishers are 

also known as wet chemical fire extinguishers and are for use on grease fires, meaning you will usually find them in a kitchen. 

Whichever type of extinguisher you use, remember to be sure to follow the safety rules and stay safe! This safety talk explores everything you need to know about the variety of extinguishers available. 

  • Between 2011 and 2015, U.S. fire departments attended an average of 37,910 fires at industrial or manufacturing properties each year. They estimated that annual losses from these fires comprised 16 civilian deaths, 273 civilian injuries, and $1.2 billion worth of property damage.
  • The types of fire can be classified into five categories, which are A-B-C-D-K. 
  • The silver fire extinguisher has been designed to tackle Class K fires. It uses a wet chemical agent that will help make sure commercial kitchen fires go out and do not reignite.

Fire defense is self-defense.

Why is it important to know the different types of fire extinguishers? 

Fire extinguishers installed in buildings will not increase fire safety if the occupants aren’t properly trained to use them. It is important that employees receive the appropriate training in fire extinguishers for their specific building and which fires require which extinguisher. 

A training program that is effective should go beyond the basics of operating a fire extinguisher. It should help trainees feel more confident in identifying fire sources within buildings and make informed decisions about how to handle fire situations.

Trainees must be aware that different fire types require different extinguishers. The wrong extinguisher could cause the fire to grow rather than extinguish it. 

OSHA Regulations for Types of Fire Extinguishers

The OSHA regulations relating to the types of fire extinguishers are: 

Hazards of using the wrong types of fire extinguisher

  • Ineffective results

There are many types of fires. Each fire class has a different fire extinguisher. The wrong kind of fire extinguisher for a particular type of fire can lead to frustration and ineffectiveness. Water fire extinguishers work well for wood and paper-fuelled flames. However, they are not suitable for oil-fuelled fires. Because oil and water are not compatible, the extinguisher won’t work and will not suppress the flames. You need silver fire extinguishers for this task. 

  • The situation is worse

You could end up further igniting the fire rather than suppressing it. You will see the fire grow larger and more dangerous and spread to other areas.

  • Property damage

Consider spaces that contain high-value electronic and electrical equipment, such as computer rooms or server centers. Because of the possibility of short-circuiting, fire extinguishers can cause serious damage to these components.

In addition, using dry powder and wet chemical fire extinguishers in this setting will leave residue on both the electronic and electrical components. The residue can cause corrosion and lead to costly damage.

  • Risk to life

You and others are at risk if you attempt to extinguish an electric fire using a water-based fire extinguisher. Water is highly conductive and can lead to electrocution. Foam extinguishers can also be dangerous because of their chemical composition. This is especially true for small spaces that don’t have enough ventilation.

Toolbox talk on the types of fire extinguishers

When it comes to fire safety, there are a few different types of fire and fire extinguishers that you should be aware of.

Different types of fires

Class A: Ordinary solid fuels like paper, wood, cloth, and some plastics.

Class B: Flammable liquids like alcohol, ether, and oil. These liquids can be extinguished best by smothering.

Class C: Wiring, electrical equipment and appliances that are protected from electric shock injury by using a non-conductive extinguishing material. Use water sparingly.

Class D: Some flammable metallic substances like sodium and potassium. 

Fire Extinguishers

Types A, ABC, BC, or K are the most common types of fire extinguishers. This is to ensure that you do not cause injury to yourself or property damage. An incorrect type of extinguisher can cause an explosion, electrical shock, or spread fire.

Although portable extinguishers can be used to put out small fires, they are not able to do the same for large fires. To contain the flames, close all doors.

Types Of Fire Extinguishers

Type A – Only use pressurized water for Class A fires. Use only on Class A or B fires. It can cause fire spread and electrical shock.

Type ABC – Dry chemical that is effective on all types of fires

Type BC – Carbon dioxide for chemical or electric fires

Type K: Use in kitchens with grease fires. These are silver fire extinguishers.


Follow the PASS acronym to use a fire extinguisher:

Pull – Pull the extinguisher’s pin.

Aim – Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.

Squeeze – Squeeze the trigger to release the product.

Sweep – Sweep the nozzle sideways slowly.

Injuries and illnesses related to fire

  • Thermal burns from direct contact with a heated surface
  • Electrical burns from wiring or machinery
  • Explosion injuries from combustible materials reacting to fire
  • Smoke inhalation causing lung damage

Questions to employees

  • Which fire extinguisher is most suitable for an electrical fire? 
  • Silver fire extinguishers are used for which type of fire?
  • How many different types of fire extinguishers do you generally find in a workplace?

Promote fire extinguisher use with this email template

Hi everyone,

Fires can happen at any time, and you must always be aware of which fire extinguisher is most suited to which type of fire. This email will help you recognize the different types of fire extinguishers quickly using the handy label code, helping you deal with the fire efficiently: 

  • Class A features an A in a triangle
  • Class B is in a square
  • Class C is in a circle
  • Class D is in a five-pointed star shape
  • Class K is a black hexagon

I hope everyone takes these safety precautions seriously and stays safe!

Thank you,

[Safety manager]

Video on Types of Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguisher Meme


Knowing the types of fire extinguishers is important for safely dealing with any fires that occur in the workplace. The silver fire extinguishers, for example, are essential in commercial kitchens, given their effectiveness at dealing with grease fires and preventing them from reigniting. Brush up on your fire safety knowledge today to remain safe!