What Is a Class C Fire Extinguisher Used For?

While fire extinguishers are a crucial part of any fire safety plan, it’s important to have the right one for the job. See, they come in different classes, and each one designed to combat specific types of fires. You may already know about Class A and B fire extinguishers, but what about the next one in line? What is a Class C fire extinguisher used for?


In this blog post, we’re going to give you a crash course on Class C fire extinguishers so you can use it most effectively (or not use it at all, depending on the fire) in an emergency.


The ABCs of Fire Classes


Before delving into Class C extinguishers, let’s understand the basics of fire classes. Fires are categorized into classes A, B, C, D, and K, based on the type of materials fueling them.


  • Class A fires: These involve common combustibles like wood, paper, and fabric.
  • Class B fires: Flammable liquids and gases, such as gasoline and propane, are the culprits here.
  • Class C fires: Energized electrical equipment is the primary source of fuel for these fires.
  • Class D fires: These involve combustible metals, like magnesium or titanium.
  • Class K fires: Found in commercial kitchens, typically involving cooking oils and fats.


What Are Class C Fire Extinguishers Used For?


As you may have guessed from the information above, Class C fire extinguishers are specifically designed to tackle fires involving electrical equipment. They’re so effective for these types of fires because they contain non-conductive extinguishing agents, such as dry chemical powders or carbon dioxide (CO2). These agents suppress the fire by cooling and smothering it, effectively cutting off the oxygen supply.


Types of Class C Fire Extinguishers


There are two types of fire extinguishers suitable for Class C fires: dry chemical and CO2. Let’s explore each of these in more detail below.


Dry Chemical Class C Extinguishers


These extinguishers use a dry chemical powder, often composed of monoammonium phosphate, to suppress the fire. The powder smothers the flames, stopping the chemical reaction responsible for the fire’s spread.


CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Class C Extinguishers


CO2 fire extinguishers are ideal for indoor environments where sensitive electrical equipment is present. Carbon dioxide is a clean agent, meaning it leaves no residue, making it suitable for computer rooms, labs, and offices.


How to Use a Class C Fire Extinguisher


When faced with a Class C fire, it’s essential to use a Class C fire extinguisher correctly. Just remember to PASS:

  • Pull the safety pin from the extinguisher.
  • Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side to side, covering the entire area of the fire until it’s completely out.


Regular Maintenance Is Key


Of course, it’s important to know how to use it correctly, but if you really want your Class C fire extinguishers to be effective, then they need to be regularly inspected and maintained by a certified technician. An expert can check for any damage, clogs, or pressure issues and address them promptly, ensuring that your fire extinguisher will be ready to go in an emergency.


The Bottom Line


In conclusion, Class C fire extinguishers are essential tools for addressing fires involving electrical equipment. By understanding their proper use and having them on hand, you can enhance the safety of your home or workplace. 


Remember that fire safety is a shared responsibility, and knowing how to respond to different types of fires can make all the difference in an emergency. Stay safe!


Does your Class C fire extinguisher need an inspection? If so, we’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with Fire-Alert, and take advantage of our mobile services today.