or APW extinguishers (air-pressurized water) are
suitable for class A fires only
. Never use a water
extinguisher on grease fires, electrical fires or class D fires -
the flames will spread and make the fire bigger! Water
extinguishers are filled with water and pressurized with oxygen.
extinguishers come in a variety of types and are suitable for a
combination of class A, B and C fires. These are filled
with foam or powder and pressurized with nitrogen.
BC - This is the regular type of dry chemical extinguisher.
It is filled with sodium bicarbonate or potassium bicarbonate. The
BC variety leaves a mildly corrosive residue which must be cleaned
immediately to prevent any damage to materials.
ABC - This is the multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher.
The ABC type is filled with monoammonium phosphate, a yellow
powder that leaves a sticky residue that may be damaging to
electrical appliances such as a computer
CO2 (carbon dioxide) extinguishers are for class
B and C fires. They don't work very well on class A fires because
the material usually reignites. CO2 extinguishers have
an advantage over dry chemical in that they leave behind no
harmful residue. That makes carbon dioxide a good choice for an
electrical fire involving a computer or other delicate instrument. SMOKE ALARMS
The majority of fatal home fires happen at night when people are
asleep. Contrary to popular belief, the smell of smoke may not
wake a sleeping person. Inexpensive household smoke detectors
sound an alarm, alerting you to a fire. By giving you time to
escape, smoke alarms increase the chance of surviving a home fire
by almost 50%.
Dozens of brands of smoke alarms are for sale in hardware,
department, and discount stores. Be sure that the smoke alarm you
buy bear the label of an independent
testing laboratory, such as UL. Several types of alarms are
available. Some run on batteries, others on household current.
Some detect smoke using an "ionization" sensor, others use a
"photoelectric" detection system. All approved smoke alarms,
regardless of type, will offer adequate protection provided they
are installed and maintained properly.