Fire extinguishers are used to put out small fires and are classified in four categories: A, B, C and D. The letter corresponds to the type of fire for which the extinguisher is best used. The pictorial and numerical symbols represent the class and size of fire that the fire extinguisher is capable of putting out.
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Class A extinguishers are used to put out fires on items such as wood, paper and cloth. Class A extinguishers contain a triangle with the letter A inside it. The number indicates the size of Class A fire the extinguisher is capable of putting out, for example, a 4-A rated extinguisher can put out a larger fire than a 2-A rated extinguisher.
Class B fire extinguishers can put out fires involving liquids such as grease or gas fires. The symbol is a square with a B inside of it. The numerical rating indicates the size of fire the extinguisher can be used on effectively.
Class C fire extinguishers handle electrical fires. Their symbol is a circle with a C inside of it. Class C extinguishers also have numerical ratings.
Class D fire extinguishers handle metal fires. Their symbol is a star with the letter D inside of it. Class D extinguishers do not contain a numerical rating.
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