Not all fires are the same. The cause of the fire will be different for every case. However, there are several different categories of classification for fires that professionals use to group them together. If you are curious about the different types of fires, keep reading to find a quick guide explaining the five classes of fires.
Class A Fires
Class A fires are the fires that we are the most familiar with and are what come to mind when thinking of a house fire. These fires occur when paper, wood, textiles, trash, and other common materials combust. Fortunately, Class A fires are also some of the easiest to extinguish, and you can usually douse them with water or a fire extinguisher.
Class B Fires
Class B fires refer to fires that originate from flammable liquids and gases. Some common flammable liquids and gases that can cause Class B fires include alcohol and petroleum-based products, such as gasoline, paint, kerosene, and oil. These fires are more difficult to control due to their fuel sources. The best way to put them out is to smother them.
You may think cooking oils and grease fires would fit in this category as well. However, these flammable materials are in their own category.
Class C Fires
We refer to electrical fires as Class C fires. Class C fires commonly occur in facilities containing heavy electrical equipment and accessories, such as data centers. However, Class C fires can occur in any location that utilizes electrical power tools, cables, appliances, and more. These fires are also more difficult to extinguish because they require non-conductive materials, which exclude water. To prevent difficult fires like these, many businesses that are at risk utilize PFP (passive fire protection) coatings to stop the spread of Class C fires.
Class D Fires
Class D is a specialty type of fire relating to metallic materials. Metallic fires can be extremely difficult to extinguish due to their special fuel type. You should know not to put out a Class D fire with water, as water can cause the fire to spread. Class D fires commonly break out in laboratories and industrial facilities that utilize different states of metal and metallic materials.
Class K Fires
Class K is the category that includes cooking oil and grease fires. These fires are so common and have such unusual characteristics that they encompass their own class. Cooking fires occur most frequently in restaurants, although they can also break out in homes, businesses, and any cooking locations. Class K fires are why you should never leave a pan unattended on the stove.
Now that you know the five different classes of fires, you can better prepare your building or business against them. And if you work in building design or safety, you can learn more about passive fire protection and protective coatings here at Firefree Coatings, Inc.