When it comes to putting out fires, it’s critical that you know the differences between the types of fire that could happen. There are five different types of fires, all of which can cause a huge amount of damage to your building. By identifying these potential fire risks, you can ensure you have the right fire systems in place for your building. Check our page here for more information about fire systems and how you can protect your workplace and your employees.Class A Fires – Ordinary Fires
The first category of fire is considered to be the most common type of fire. These fires involve plastic, fabric, wood, paper, and trash, all of which most homes and businesses have in abundance. These are all combustible materials, which can easily catch on fire due to carelessness. These fires break out in almost any industry, but there are certain things you can do to minimise the risk of them. While they are called ordinary fires, they can still cause a huge amount of damage to your building. You need to ensure any fire is extinguished as soon as possible so that you have a commercial fire alarm monitor in your workplace to help evacuate your team. Water or mono ammonium phosphate are the best options for extinguishing these fires, and they can help to stop them from spreading through your building.
Class B Fires – Liquids and Gases
The next category of fires includes fires from flammable gases and liquids. The most common types of Class B fires involve petroleum and products containing this substance, like paint and gasoline. These are some of the most flammable materials out there, so they need to be stored and treated with care. To extinguish a Class B fire, you’ll need to smother the fire or use a CO2 or foam extinguisher. This will remove the oxygen from the fire, which is what helps to keep it burning and growing. One thing to keep in mind is that Class B fires don’t include cooking fires or ones involving grease, as these are in a separate category of their own.
Class C Fires – Electrical Fires
Modern businesses are at a huge risk of electrical fire due to the addition of data centres in many workplaces. The more electrical equipment you have in your office, the greater the chance of a Class C fire breaking out. As well as standard offices, construction sites often experience this type of fire. This is due to the high number of appliances and power tools in use here. There’s also the risk of this type of fire in an older building. When bad wiring or space heaters are set on fire, it falls under this category as well. In order to extinguish a Class C fire, you’ll need to avoid using water. Clean agent suppression is one option, as it helps to avoid damage to your equipment and doesn’t leave any foam or residue.
Class D Fires – Metallic Fires
Next up, we have Class D fires, which are probably the least common of the fire classifications. You’ll find that they can be very challenging to extinguish though, so they need to be given the right attention should one break out. Many metals are flammable, and these fires often include magnesium, potassium, or aluminium. Laboratories and factories are at a higher risk of this type of fire, which must never be put out with water. Instead, opt to use dry powder agents to smother the flames and minimise the damage to your business.
Class K Fires – Grease or Cooking
Finally, we have Class K fires, which are the last of the five different types of fires. These are the result of flammable liquids but usually occur in restaurants and kitchens. This often happens as a result of grease or fat overheating and can be very challenging to get under control. Water should never be used to manage a Class K fire, and instead, you need to smother the flames or use wet agent fire extinguishers.
Any business place or home needs to be aware of the five types of fire in order to prepare for any situation. If you are at high risk of one of these types of fire in your workplace, ensure you have a commercial fire alarm and the right fire extinguishers in place to protect your business. By following the recommended guidelines for buildings in the UK, you can protect your employees and your business for many years to come. It’s also critical that you offer your team the fire training that’s required to react properly in an emergency. The more you can learn about fire safety, the less likely you’ll be to experience an issue in the future. If you need any assistance protecting your workplace or home this year, contact our team, who will be happy to discuss the various options on offer to you.
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