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Not all fires are the same, and they are classified according to the type of fuel that is burning. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the wrong class of fire,
 

Summary:  Not all fires are the same, and they are classified according to the type of fuel that
is burning. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on the wrong class of fire,
you can, in fact, make matters worse. It is therefore very important to understand
the four different fire classifications.
Class A - Wood, paper, cloth, trash, plastics
Solid combustible materials that are not metals. (Class
A fires generally leave an Ash.)
Class B - Flammable liquids: gasoline, oil, grease,
acetone
Any non-metal in a liquid state, on fire. This
classification also includes flammable gases. (Class B
fires generally involve materials that Boil or Bubble.)
Class C - Electrical: energized electrical equipment
As long as it's "plugged in," it would be considered a
class C fire. (Class C fires generally deal with
electrical Current.)
Class D - Metals: potassium, sodium, aluminum,
magnesium
Unless you work in a laboratory or in an industry that
uses these materials, it is unlikely you'll have to deal

  

Source: Argerami, Martin - Department of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Regina

 

Collections: Mathematics