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what do the symbols on a fire extinguisher indicate

    What do the symbols on the Fire Extinguisher indicate? The design of the fire extinguisher’s label tells how effective it will be in tackling the kind of fire it was created to combat. A few commonly-used symbols are found on fire extinguishers, as well as what they signify.

    There are two main signs you should look at on your fire extinguishers: one indicates what type of fire you can apply it to, and another will tell you instructions on how to apply it. The labels can be found on all fire extinguishers; ensure you understand the meaning before you use them.

    What do the fire extinguisher labels will tell you?

    Most fire extinguishers come with an icon that informs the fire class the extinguisher was designed to combat. For example, a standard water extinguisher may be labelled like the one below, which indicates that it can only be utilized for classes A and B fires. Combustible solid materials which aren’t made of metals.

    The Fire Extinguisher Use Symbol

    A different and prominent symbol you can see on the fire extinguisher’s label is the symbol that explains how to use your fire extinguisher.

    It is essential to understand how to utilize an extinguisher to put out fires and what kind of extinguishers are needed before using them. While it’s not that difficult to use an extinguisher, you must take a few security precautions you need to observe when using these. To ensure that you don’t hurt yourself or others when trying to put out a blaze, Here are some tips you need to be aware of regarding your fire extinguisher:

    Make sure you pull the safety pin. Before you utilize your fire extinguisher, you must pull out the safety pin. This will ensure that it’s prepared to use.

    Keep your sights low. The goal should be for fires at the waist or lower with your extinguisher for fires. Always aim towards the bottom of the flame.

    Use the handle to squeeze it: When you use your fire extinguisher, you must pack it lightly and aim it at the spot where you can see flames. If you’re seeking too hard or squeezing too much, the fire extinguisher might not function properly.

    Make sure you sweep between sides: You must always clean from the side to the side when trying to put out a flame using an extinguisher for fire. This is among the most crucial steps to take when setting out a small kitchen fire or any other kind of fire that is large enough for a room.

    Different combinations

    Various types and combinations of extinguishers can be found depending on the requirements. For instance, if you see “BC”, it could be used to extinguish any fire of class A (those which contain metal); however, an ABC may be better suited to the burning of wood or cloth similar to S could protect your home from damage caused by paper products like newsprint, which typically have low melting points, but can catch fire when they are stationary!

    2A10B and 3A10B symbols

    The 2A10B symbol signifies that a specific type of fire extinguisher has been approved and tested by Underwriters Laboratories (UL). Another symbol is 3A10B, which means that it’s been examined with Factory Mutual (FM) Laboratories. While these symbols appear identical, they refer to different things. If you own a UL-approved fire extinguisher, don’t change it for one that is not adorned with the 2A10B symbol, as you may put your life at risk when trying to fight fires.

    As mentioned above, the symbols signify that a particular fire extinguisher has been approved and tested through Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or Factory Mutual (FM) Laboratories. These symbols also mean that both bodies have deemed the fire extinguishers you use to be suitable to fight fires that involve combustible elements, flammable liquids, electrical equipment, as well as products made of paper.

    What do numbers for fire extinguishers refer to?

    The letters denote the kind of that the extinguisher may be applied to A for solids with combustible properties (paper wood, trash and other materials) and B for flammable liquids (gasoline or oil, acetone) in addition to C for electronic equipment. The number that precedes the letter A indicates the dimension of a wooden panel that is extinguished.

    Multipurpose Extinguishers

    Most portable extinguishers have been rated to be used with multiple types of fire. For instance, an extinguisher with a BC rating is appropriate to be used with fires involving explosive liquids and energised electrical equipment. A fire extinguisher with an ABC rating is suitable for fires caused by ordinary combustibles, flammable liquids, and electrical equipment. A fire extinguisher rated to be used with multiple hazards must include a symbol for every type of hazard.


    As you can see, each one of the different kinds of extinguishers comes with a specific array of icons and indicators that can be utilized to quickly determine what kind of fire they’re specifically designed to tackle. Although most extinguishers can be used to deal with various fires, it’s essential to recognize the type of fire you’re dealing with to put out the flames efficiently.

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