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What are the different types of fire extinguishers?

Portable fire extinguishers can save lives and property when a small, contained fire breaks out in your home or business. But different types of fire extinguishers fight different types of fire and using the wrong one may make the fire worse.

There are five classes of fire that could break out, each involving a different material.

Determine what type of fire extinguisher you own ahead of time by looking for the symbol on the label and matching it to one of the descriptions below.

Many homes and businesses use multipurpose fire extinguishers that are good for three classes of fires - A, B and C. If you already own a fire extinguisher, check the label to see what class of fire it is good for. Be on the lookout for these standard symbols. If you see a red slash through a picture, it means that the extinguisher should not be used on that class of fire.

Different types of fire extinguishers