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Everything You Need to Know About Residential Fire Extinguishers: Part 2

Welcome to part two in our series on residential fire extinguishers! In this series we’re discussing the ins and outs of fire extinguishers so that you will be fully prepared in the case of an emergency. If you missed part 1, read it now and then join us back here to learn about how different types of fire extinguishers put out fires and the types of fires that they should be used for.


There are different types of fire extinguishers for different purposes.

Everything You Need to Know About Residential Fire Extinguishers: Part 2

Types of fire extinguishers

There are different types of fire extinguishers that are designed specifically to put out different types of flames:

Water extinguishers are also known as air-pressurized water (APW) extinguishers. They contain water and use air to pressurize the cartridge. These should only be used for Class A fires. An APW extinguisher should never be used for anything other than a Class A fire or else it can exacerbate the situation and potentially spread the fire throughout a larger area. It is very dangerous to use water to extinguish electrical, grease, or chemical fires so only use an APW extinguisher if you are sure the fire was caused by and contains only generic flammable materials.

Dry chemical extinguishers are nitrogen-pressurized and contain either foam or powder. Because these can be used for Class A, B, and C fires, they are most suitable for at-home use. BC is the most common type of chemical extinguisher and is filled with either potassium bicarbonite or sodium bicarbonate. ABC extinguishers contain monoammonium phosphate which can leave a residue that may damage electronics but they are the kind you are most likely to find at a home improvement store.

CO2 extinguishers are highly pressurized and contain—you guessed it!–CO2. They should only be used for Class B and C fires. Because they do not leave a residue they are more suitable for electrical fires but they are not very effective on Class A fires because they leave the possibility of re-ignition if they do not displace adequate oxygen to completely extinguish the embers.

Biles Fire Protection Services is Here to Help
No matter your needs, Biles Fire Protection Services can design and install a system that will work for you. We are proud to offer top-notch customer service including fast response times, reliable support, and affordable prices. We are certified through the National Institute for Certification in Engineering Technologies and have the knowledge and experience to create the right fire protection system for your home or business. To learn more about what we have to offer, give us a call at 443-701-8330, send us an email, or request a quote online.
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