Fire Extinguisher Labels Explained
Fire extinguisher labels with ABC legends are simple and important signs. To the layman, it's just a simple fire extinguisher label, directing you to the extinguisher in case of fire. These signs are typically luminous, meaning that there is a glow-in-the-dark material used in the construction.
The ABC part of fire extinguisher labels explains the type of fires that the extinguisher is meant to put out.
Type A fire classifications refer to fire from wood, paper, textiles and rubbish. Water, foam, and dry chemicals are typically used in extinguishers for these fires.
Type B fires result from flammable liquids like diesel fuel or acetone. Like a grease fire, water will only spread a flammable liquid, so water is not used to put out this type of fire. Type B fire extinguishers usually use foam, carbon dioxide (CO2), or dry chemicals.
Class C fires involve electrical equipment. Energized electrical equipment like wiring, circuit breakers, fuses, and appliances are further damaged by the use of water and foam. Extinguishers used in these situations use carbon dioxide or dry chemicals to prevent property damage and put out the flames.
In industries that rely on technology, specialized fire suppression systems are created to put out fires without damaging equipment. In rooms full of computer servers or other vital technology, clean agent fire suppression systems are set up.
These systems use dry chemicals or inert gas. Halon was the most widely used clean agent, but it is a CFC, and due to environmental concerns, it is being replaced by more ecological, but equally effective, dry chemicals and gases.
Regardless of the type of fire extinguisher that you have, the location of it is always important. Fire extinguishers (and the fire extinguisher signs that locate them) should always be located near an exit, in a highly visible location, like high up on a wall.
Extinguishers should be in kitchens and laundry rooms, where many household fires start, and also at the top of the stairs leading to the basement.