Fire Extinguishers and How They Work

fire extinguishers


When a fire occurs at a home, a homeowner should know how to put out the fire using a fire extinguisher, if the fire is small enough. But how does a fire extinguisher work? There are three things a fire needs: fuel, heat, and oxygen. A fire should burn until one of those components is taken away.


Certain kinds of fire extinguishers are used to put out certain kinds of fires. However, there are fire extinguishers that handle all types of fires.

Class A – puts out fires involving wood, paper, or cloth

Class B – puts out fires involving flammable and combustible liquids like gasoline, grease, oil, and oil-based paints.

Class C – puts out fires involving electrical equipment like tools and devices that are plugged in, and appliances.

Class ABC – the most widely used fire extinguisher. This extinguisher is effective for classes A, B, and C.  Most home improvement stores carry ABC fire extinguishers.


How it Works:

The first thing that needs to be done in order to use a fire extinguisher is to pull the pin located that the top.

Inside of all extinguisher is the firefighting chemical and a pressurized canister of nitrogen. Nitrogen is used because it makes up 78% of our atmosphere. Nitrogen is also an inert gas. This means that it is stable and nonexplosive.

When the lever on the extinguisher is squeezed the canister of nitrogen is opened and the nitrogen escapes. As the nitrogen expands in the fire extinguisher, the firefighting chemical is pushed down and forced into tube at the bottom of the extinguisher. The tube connects to the nozzle where the chemical sprays out of.


Every home and business should have a fire extinguisher on each level of the building. It is important to get the extinguishers inspected every so often and replace them if they are damaged.  If a fire is too large to use a fire extinguisher 911 should be called immediately.


If you have experienced a fire damage and have contact First Choice Restoration by visiting their website or by speaking with a customer service representative by calling 800-370-0770. Let First Choice Restoration be your first choice!



About First Choice Restoration
First Choice Restoration is a water, mold, fire, and smoke remediation company headquartered in Philadelphia, PA. The company also operates additional offices throughout other areas of Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey, and Delaware. The company has been assisting homeowners and businesses with water, mold, fire, and smoke cleanup for over 40 years.


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