FAQs

Choosing the right fire extinguisher can save lives, property, time and money!

General

It is a legal requirement to have a fire extinguisher available in workplaces in most States and municipalities. Check with the State Code of Regulations, OSHA, Office of the State Fire Marshall, Local Fire Department or Authority Having Jurisdiction for details on regulatory standards where you live or conduct your business. Other sources of information are business and corporate liability insurance, or other local authorities or companies having jurisdiction that inspect and enforce the requirements.

Fire Extinguishers have different compositions based on the type or nature of the fire. Please see the following breakdown of the TYPES OF FIRES and which TYPES OF FIRE EXTINGUISHERS to use.

Class A: FOR FIRES INVOLVING ORDINARY COMBUSTIBLES SUCH AS: wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: FOR FIRES INVOLVING FLAMMABLE LIQUIDS and GASES SUCH AS: semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oils, grease, paint, lacquer, tar, etc.
Class C: FOR FIRES INVOLVING LIVE ELECTRICAL EQUIPMENT SUCH AS: electrical fires, charged or energized electrical equipment.
Class D: FOR FIRES INVOLVING COMBUSTIBLE METALS OR METAL ALLOYS SUCH AS: those worked on in auto body shops, the aircraft industry, and factories, etc.
Class K: FOR FIRES THAT INVOLVE COMBUSTIBLE COOKING MEDIA IN COOKING APPLIANCES SUCH AS: animal or vegetable oils, other oils or fats, deep fat fryers, etc.

How To Use Fire Extinguishers

Use a portable fire extinguisher when the fire is confined to a small area, such as a wastebasket, and is not growing; everyone has exited the building; the fire department has been called or is being called; and the room is not filled with flames or smoke.

  • Choose a fire extinguisher that carries the label of an independent testing laboratory.
  • Read the instructions that come with the fire extinguisher and become familiar with its parts and operation before a fire breaks out. Local fire departments or fire equipment distributors often offer hands-on fire extinguisher training.
  • Install fire extinguishers close to an exit and keep your back to a clear exit when you use the device so you can make an easy escape if the fire cannot be controlled. If the room fills with smoke, leave immediately.
  • Know when to go. Fire extinguishers are one element of a fire response plan, but the primary element is safe escape. Everyone should have a fire escape plan and working smoke alarms.

To operate a fire extinguisher, remember the word PASS:

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle or hose
    pointing away from you, and remove the pull pin to release the locking
    mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle or hose from side-to-side.

Click the following link for detailed information:
OSHA Requirements for Employers

The following is an excerpt from the osha.gov website; it details requirements that an employer must meet:

Provide an educational program to familiarize employees with the general principles of fire extinguisher use and the hazards involved with incipient stage fire fighting [29 CFR 1910.157(g)(1)]. Provide this education when employees are first hired and once a year thereafter [29 CFR 1910.157(g)(2)].
Train employees (who have been designated to use fire fighting equipment in the emergency action plan) in the use of the equipment [29 CFR 1910.157(g)(3)]. Provide this training when employees are first given this assignment and once a year thereafter [29 CFR 1910.157(g)(4)].

The following information on this page is from the NFPA.ORG WEBSITE Published on August 22, 2012:

A portable fire extinguisher can save lives and property by putting out a small fire or containing it until the fire department arrives; but portable extinguishers have limitations. Because fire grows and spreads so rapidly, the number one priority for people is to get out safely.

Employers must evaluate which fire hazards might occur and which sizes extinguishers are applicable within the building for each fire extinguisher class. OSHA [29CFR1910.157(d)] regulations mandate different distribution requirements within the building for each extinguisher class as noted below. Please confirm that the OSHA regulation is adhered to by your local municipality or state, by contacting your local fire marshal or other designated fire authority.

Class A fire extinguishers must be supplied every 75 feet or less.
Class B extinguishers are to be spaced every 50 feet or less.
Class C extinguishers should be dispersed based on the pattern for existing Class A or Class B hazards. Fire extinguishers should be securely mounted on the wall or inside of a cabinet.
Class D fire extinguishers must be supplied every 75 feet or less.
Class K extinguishers are required every 30 feet

They must be accessible at all times. Furniture and storage materials should NEVER block access! Employees require training on fire extinguisher locations within a building; evacuation maps should be marked with extinguisher locations.

CLICK HERE TO GO TO THE OSHA FIRE EXTINGUISHER REGULATION CODE

Testing, Service, and Maintenance

According to OSHA.gov you must check extinguishers on a monthly basis. You are required to visually inspect your extinguishers monthly. On the rear of some tags there is an area for you to date and initial upon each inspection. You should complete at least the following steps (please see your owner’s manual and local fire authority for your locally required detail inspection points):

1) Verify the pressure indicator gauge is in the GREEN.
2) Verify that the pull pin is in place and that the tamper seal is unbroken.
3) Confirm that the hose and nozzle are connected and unobstructed.
4) Verify the extinguisher is the correct type for hazards in the area
5) If any damage is visible to the extinguisher, schedule servicing immediately.
6) Heft or weigh the extinguisher to determine fullness.

NFPA Code 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers Section 6.3.1 details the frequency for fire extinguisher maintenance and their service by law. Fire extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance at intervals of not more than ONE year, at the time of the hydrostatic test, or when specifically indicated by an inspection or electronic notice.

Inspection, maintenance and testing are required for fire extinguishers. They must be fully charged and operational at all times; when they are removed for service, equivalent equipment must be provided. An annual maintenance check and recharge by a trained person are mandatory. For optimal service, fire extinguishers require hydrostatic testing every 5 to 12 years by a trained person with suitable testing equipment and facilities. The annual service and periodic testing must be documented on the fire extinguisher service tag.

We recycle old and unwanted fire extinguishers. You may also contact your local Environmental disposal agency for local disposal regulations.

Types of Extinguishers

ABC Dry Chemical:
This is the most common type of fire extinguisher and generally the best option and most utilized for businesses, warehouses, offices, apartments, homes, vehicles, boats and RVs. The chemical coats the surface to which it is applied, thus smothering the fire and it will not conduct electricity back to the operator. ABC Dry chemical fire extinguishers, do leave a residue and can not be used in certain applications without causing damage.* It is a multi-class or multi-purpose extinguisher that can be used on the following types of fires:

Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gas, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

*Please note that ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers leave a residue not desired in all applications. Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers should be used to protect delicate electronics, computers, servers and other electronic equipment. Please see our Halotron category below for more details.

Halotron I (Clean Agent):
Halotron I fire extinguishers discharge as a liquid that evaporates quickly. It contains a non-conductive, non-corrosive, non-residual extinguishing agent. The extinguishing agent helps to limit damage and reduces clean up and down time caused by other agents. The Halotron I clean agent is currently the most environmentally beneficial halocarbon agent available. The primary agent’s raw material is HCFC-123, has an outstanding near zero ozone depleting potential and a low global warming potential.  Halotron I Extinguishers are recommended for use in the protection of delicate, sensitive or expensive computers such as those found in clean rooms, data and telecommunications centers, computer and control rooms, on boats, vehicles, areas with electronic equipment, laboratories, warehouses, manufacturing plants; they are ideal for classic autos, boats, engine compartments, onboard aircraft, aircraft ramps and service areas. They can also be used in home offices, kitchens, bathrooms, garages etc. Halotron fire extinguishers are used for Class B and Class C fires and sometimes Class A. Below is a general breakdown of Halotron I Fire Extinguishers by Fire type rating:

Halotron I (clean agent) fire extinguishers with a Class B & Class C rating in the following sizes can be used on Class B and Class C fires near electronic and data equipment: 1.4 pound, 2.5 pound, 3 pound, 5 pound. (Amerex Models A384T, B385TS, B386T)

Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone
Class C: Electrical fires; energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Halotron I fire extinguishers with an ABC rating in the following sizes can be used on Class A, Class B and Class C fires: 11 pound, 15.5 pound. (Amerex Models 397, 398)
Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires; energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Halotron I fire extinguisher is USCG Approved with USCG bracket listed on the UL Label. These models are: A384T, B385TS, and B394TS. Halotron I fire extinguishers with an FAA rating are models B394TS, 397, 398.

Halon:
While still available, Halon is no longer manufactured. Please see Halotron I fire extinguisher category above to purchase the “next generation” clean agent type fire extinguisher.

Halon fire extinguishers contain a liquefied gas that is pressurized with nitrogen, discharging as a vapor so that they do not cause cold, static shock or impairment of the operator’s vision. The agent penetrates difficult to see and hard to reach areas. Because they do not leave a reside they are recommended for use in the protection of delicate sensitive or expensive computer, electronic, electrical equipment, tapes, film, car and aircraft engines, lab equipment or chemicals, etc. (Recycled gaseous agent certified to meet military specifications.) Halon fire extinguishers can also be used in home offices, kitchen, bathrooms, garages etc. Halon extinguishers have quality industrial grade hardware, “Clean agent,” are lightweight, have a good discharge range and excellent extinguishing ability. Halon fire extinguishers are used for Class B and Class C fires – and sometimes Class A as explained below:

Halon fire extinguishers with a BC rating in the following sizes can be used on Class B and Class C fires:  1.25 pound (model A344T,) 2.5 pound (model C352TS,) 3 pound (C354TS,) and 5 pound (model B355T.)
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gas, oil, grease, acetone
Class C: Electrical fires; energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Halon fire extinguishers with an ABC rating in the following sizes can be used on Class A, Class B and Class C fires:  9 pound (model B369,) 13 pound (model B371,) and 17 pound (model 361)
Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Halon fire extinguishers that are USCG approved with bracket listed on UL Label are C352TS, C345TS, B355T, B369, B371, 361.

Class K (Kitchen Wet Chemical):
Class K extinguishers are manufactured for restaurant kitchens and in the restaurant industry for Restaurant Kitchen hazards. These extinguishers have a greater fire-fighting capacity and cooling effect to combat difficult to extinguish and very hot fires. With no chemical residue to clean up their kitchen application is superior. Excellent for use on all cooking appliances, even char broilers with a solid fuel source. They fight Class A and Class K fires.

Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class K: Commercial deep fat fryers and cooking oil fires.

Water Stream:
Water Stream extinguishers use a pressurized water stream to fight mainly Class A fires.

Amerex Model 240 – 2.5 gallon water pressure is the preferred option for emergency first responder’s vehicles to fight Class A fires.

Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.

Class D:
Class D extinguishers are mainly for metals and metal fire hazards such as those worked on in auto body shops, welding areas, the aircraft industry, and factories. This extinguisher features a detachable “slow flow” extension applicator for direct application or with use it keeps hands away from heat and keeps toxic fumes at a distance. One model is for Sodium based fires; the other for Copper based ones. Details below:

Model B570: Contains a blend of specially formatted dry powders to cake and form a crust to exclude oxygen and dissipate heat from burning metal. Metal fires and fires involving magnesium (12Mg), sodium (11Na), potassium (19K), and sodium-potassium alloys can be successfully extinguished with this extinguisher. Data shows that zirconium, uranium, titanium, and powdered aluminum fires can be controlled and extinguished with this Class D model.
Model B571: Contains a specialized copper extinguishing agent that was developed by the U.S. Navy for extinguishing lithium and lithium alloy fires by smothering flames and dissipating heat.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2):
This class of extinguishers meets the requirements for many hospitals, MRI room facilities (model 322NM), factories, film and television production and mechanics shops, as they do not leave behind a dry powder residue. This class of extinguishers can be used on Class B flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gas fires and also on Class C electrical fires because they do not conduct electricity. They contain a clean, ozone-friendly, non-contaminating, odorless gas.

Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gas, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Water Mist:
Water Mist Extinguisher’s provide a fine water mist and unique misting nozzle provide safety from electrical shock, greatly enhance the cooling and soaking characteristics of the agent and reduces the potential hazard of scattering of the burning materials the water mist extinguishers are especially useful where a potential Class C (electrical) fire hazard exists. Best for protection in environments such as hospitals, places where valuable books and papers are stored, telecommunications facilities and “clean rooms.” Safe for use in MRI facilities and on energized equipment. (Model B272NM is the preferred option for MRI rooms as it is non-magnetic and non-toxic, and it fights Class A and Class C fires.)

Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Foam:
Contain a fire suppressant that cool the fire, coat the source and deprive it of oxygen. Every type of foam has a unique application. High-expansion foams are used in enclosed spaces, such as a basements and hangars that must be quickly filled. Low-expansion foams are for burning spills. AFFF is best suited for spills such as jet fuels. FFFP is preferred for times when and where the ignited fuel can pocket in deeper pools. AR-AFFF is ideal for burning alcohols. The most flexible are AR-AFFF or AR-FFFP. AR-AFFF must be used in areas where gas is blended with oxygenates; as these alcohols prevent the formation of a film between the FFFP foam and the gas, thereby breaking down the foam and rendering it virtually useless.

High Flow:
Otherwise identical to their counterparts, these ABC, Regular Dry Chemical and Purple K extinguishers discharge at rates that exceed one pound per second. In other words, a ten pound extinguisher will discharge completely in about ten seconds. Where applicable, the speed of discharge, user friendly style and economical maintenance make them desirable.

The perfect choice for commercial and industrial sites and locations that handle, transport, process, or store large quantities of flammable liquids and gases.

High Flow extinguishers are specially designed for spills on flat, horizontal surfaces, where combustible/noncombustible materials are located along with potential obstacles to fire-fighting.

High Performance:
High performance fire extinguishers are the top of the line, ultimate choice for high hazard areas, frequent usage, and extreme environmental area applications.  This class of extinguishers fight high hazard fires such as flammable liquids, oils, greases and gasses in Class B and Class C fires – and sometimes Class A fires, as explained below:

High performance Models that fight Class B and Class C fires: (Amerex Models: 566, 568, 569, 580, 584, 591, 595, and 599.)
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

High performance Models that fight Class A, Class B and Class C fires: (Amerex Models 564, 567, 581, 582, 589, 592, and 594.)
Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires; energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Purple K Dry Chemical:
This extinguisher series contains a fluidized and siliconized dry chemical especially effective on Class B flammable liquids and pressurized gases. Combined with its non-conducting electrical nature it has been the extinguisher series preferred by industries and companies dealing with oil, gas, chemicals & utilities.

Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone

Regular Dry Chemical:
Dry chemical extinguishers are extremely effective at putting out fires and are beneficial in a variety of locations such as areas with flammable liquids, in public hallways, in laboratories, mechanical rooms, break rooms, chemical storage areas, offices, vehicles, etc. They offer Class B & C protection with a lower initial cost and recharging. This chemical smothers fires in flammable liquids & pressurized gases and is electrically non-conductive.

Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gas, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires; energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Marine/USCG:
Marine fire extinguishers are United States Coast Guard (USCG) approved and have Class B and Class C and sometimes Class A ratings.

Class A: Wood, paper, trash, fabrics, cloth or clothing, rubber, plastics, etc.
Class B: Flammable liquids, semi-liquids and gases such as gasoline, oil, grease, acetone.
Class C: Electrical fires, energized electric equipment or anything electrically charged.

Do you offer a price match guarantee? 

BuyItFire.com strives to offer the very best pricing to our customers. However, we realize that in some circumstances, a competitor may advertise a lower price; if you find the same item on our site, simply contact us and we will do our best to match or beat the pricing on the exact item. This offer excludes print errors, close-outs and clearances and cannot be combined with other offers or discounts. We reserve the right to terminate this offer at any time without notice.