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Know Your Fire Extinguisher

There are two types of household fire extinguishers for three common household fire categories. Familiarize yourself with them and choose the fire extinguisher that is best for each location in your home. Also review the manufacturer's use and care booklet for your fire extinguisher. This important booklet provides guidance on the type and size of fire with which you may use your extinguisher, and also provides tips on how to properly use and maintain your extinguisher.

The three categories of household fires are:

Categories of fires

Description

Type of extinguisher

Class A

Fires involving combustible materials, such as wood, cloth and paper.

ABC

Class B

Flammable liquid fires, including kitchen grease. NEVER use water on this type of fire!

ABC or BC

Class C

Fires involving energized electrical equipment.

ABC or BC

Household fire extinguishers are available in two basic types: "BC" rated for Class B and Class C fires, and multipurpose "ABC" rated for all three types of fires. Both utilize a dry chemical extinguishing agent. A "BC" extinguisher would typically be found in a garage or other area of your house where you are storing flammable liquids. "ABC" extinguishers would commonly be placed in all other areas of your house.