What Do The Symbols On A Fire Extinguisher Indicate? - FlameVenge
February 2, 2023
fire extinguishers symbols

Fire extinguishers differ from one another in a lot of ways, but oftentimes, the symbols on these extinguishers matter a lot. While some fire extinguishers can put out a paint fire, some will only worsen the situation. Therefore, today, we will take a profound look at what the symbols on a fire extinguisher indicate and why you need to identify these symbols so you can feel safe while using fire extinguishers.

Why You Should Have A Prior Knowledge Of Fire Extinguisher Symbols.

You have a fire extinguisher installed in almost all strategic locations in your office. This is because you work in a company that manufactures Goo Gone, so obviously, you need a life-saver resort in case of a Goo Gone fire.

However, if you can recollect vividly that fateful day when you decided to rest for a while in your office after the day’s work, something went wrong. Isn’t it? A Goo Gone bottle is amongst the trash in your office’s waste bin, but there is your family’s wooden frame lying shattered and aimlessly on the floor due to a fall.

The Goo Gone residue in this bottle should be able to help out before it bids you its final goodbye. That was what you thought when you picked up this bottle and started patching up the frame with it.

But you forgot you were practicing this near an electric circuit (a source of spark), of course, no one will also have noticed that. Then boom, the Goo Gone bottle caught fire and you’re left to battle with the disaster.

Instantly, the “what do I do?” thought came in and you switched on one of the fire extinguishers in your office with the hope of “thank goodness.” Unfortunately, it didn’t go as you imagined, instead, the fire exacerbated and you almost died if not for the firefighting department.

But what indeed went wrong? Could there have been a wrong substance present in the fire extinguisher? Everyone thought…

Well, that wasn’t the case. You probably used the wrong fire extinguisher for the wrong purpose. Here is where the need for you to have prior knowledge of fire extinguisher symbols comes in…

You could have averted the fire had you known the extinguisher does not work for a Goo Gone fire. Now, what do these symbols on a fire extinguisher indicate? Let’s discover!

Common Classes Of Fire Extinguisher Symbols: What Do These Symbols Indicate?

Fire extinguishers are categorized based on the symbols that appear on their containers’ labels. And if you don’t have prior knowledge of what these symbols represent, you’ll make the wrong moves.

In what way you asked? Good! You can purchase and fix the wrong extinguisher in your house. This extinguisher will not end up being of any use if it is not designed to quench household fires.

So, to save you stress, we’ve highlighted the common classes of fire extinguishers in this guide. Let’s explore:

  • Class A (Green or Black).

Fire extinguishers with the “Class A” inscription can only put out fires that involve ordinary combustible items. These items include paper, cloth, wood, plastics, and rubber.

Also, note that this symbol usually comes in the form of a big, bold, triangular letter A on the container label. The letter might not be qualified with a “class.” So, next time you spot this kind of label, just know it’s a class A fire extinguisher.

  • Class B (Red or Black).

Class B fire extinguishers are suitable for suppressing fires instigated by gasoline and flammable liquids like transmission fluid, petrol, Goo Gone, kerosene, etc.

The containers of this class of extinguishers are also labeled with a square-shaped, bold “D” letter.

  • Class C (Blue or Black).

You can use class C fire extinguishers to put out electrical fires. On the container label, the letter C is usually fitted in a circle.

  • Class D (Yellow or Black).

Class D extinguishers are strictly used for quenching fires involving flammable metals like lithium, magnesium, etc. The “D” symbol usually comes in a 5-pointed star diagram.

  • Class K (Black).

You can apply fire extinguishers with the hexagonal symbol “K” on fat or cooking oil fires.

Symbols Illustrating How To Apply A Fire Extinguisher.

Moreover, there are some special arrows on fire extinguishers’ labels that explain how and in what way the extinguisher must be used.

These arrow symbols include:

  • “P” which means pull the safety pin.

The “P” symbol on a fire extinguisher means you should pull out the extinguisher’s safety pin before you attempt to use it.

  • “A” which means aim low.

The “A” symbol tells you to always aim for the lower part of fires while spraying the fire extinguisher.

  • “S” which means sweep from side to side.

Especially when you’re dealing with small fires, the “S” symbol directs you to sweep the extinguisher from side to side to enable the container’s content to circulate.

  • “S” which means squeeze the handle.

This “S” symbol instructs you to squeeze the handle of the fire extinguisher gently while spraying it on fires.

Special Symbols For Identifying Fire Extinguishers: 2A10B and 3A10B

2A10B is a distinctive symbol that shows that a certain fire extinguisher has been endorsed by the Underwriters Laboratories (UL). On the other hand, the 3A10B symbol indicates that a fire extinguisher has the approval of Factory Mutual Laboratories (FM).

What Does The Fire Extinguisher Symbol “6A-80B:C” Mean?

The 6A-70B:C symbol simply describes a fire extinguisher as powder-based. Moreso, this kind of extinguisher usually has a firefighting ability of 6×1.25. That is, it can suppress class B fires over 80 Square Feet.

What About “10B:C?”

10B:C symbol represents a carbon dioxide-based extinguisher that can curb class B fires over 10 Square Feet. This fire extinguisher can also be used to put out a class C fire.

Final Recommendations.

In a nutshell, a broad knowledge of fire extinguisher symbols is essential when determining the right extinguisher to apply to a type of fire. This guide has successfully featured the common classes of fire extinguishers symbols and what they indicate.

We believe you will be able to approach fire outbreaks in a better way with the few points you pick up in this guide. Nevertheless, we wish you a fire-free encounter.

You can click here to read more on how to handle fire outbreaks.

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