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Fire Extinguisher Types

Having a fire extinguisher is crucial to the safety of your restaurant, your employees, and your customers. It is therefore important that you understand associated components and terminology so that you know how to choose a fire extinguisher that’s right for you.

Pounds and Charges

fire extinguisher
  • The size of a fire extinguisher--the amount of extinguishing agent it holds--is most often measured in pounds, while certain larger extinguishers like our Class K wet chemical fire extinguisher are measured in liters.
  • We offer only rechargeable fire extinguishers, which means that they are built to be reused. Whenever a rechargeable fire extinguisher is used, however, it needs to be recharged before going back into service.
  • Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers, meanwhile, are often less expensive, but are constructed in a manner that allows them to be used only once. Even if only partially discharged, a non-rechargeable fire extinguisher must be replaced after it is used.

    Please note that either type of extinguisher must be serviced whenever its seal is broken, for any reason. Reasons may include: usage, aging, external tampering and more.

    Whether you have a rechargeable or non-rechargeable fire extinguisher, it is important that you have a certified company or AHJ (Authority Having Jurisdiction) service it annually.

Tagged vs. Untagged

We offer both untagged fire extinguishers and tagged fire extinguishers to meet your fire fighting needs. Per federally-mandated rules and regulations, an untagged extinguisher must be inspected and tagged before it can be used. The benefit of purchasing this type of extinguisher is that it will be inspected on-site at your business, which assures you that your unit is in compliance with the codes in your area and you know exactly when your tags expire. The downside is that your extinguisher cannot be used as soon as it arrives.

Tagged extinguishers arrive inspected and tagged so that, in most locales, they can be used immediately upon delivery. These units have already been tested to ensure that they operate properly and will display tags that are valid for 12 months from the date of inspection per the NFPA-10 code. Before purchasing a tagged extinguisher, it's important to check your local fire inspection codes to make sure that it won't need to be re-tagged to meet the specific guidelines of your county or state of residence when it arrives.

Fire Classes Explained

It is important to note that all fires are not the same. Fires can be fueled by a variety of different materials and, for that reason, are divided into different classes. It is important that you understand these classes so that you can make an educated purchasing decision when selecting your new extinguisher.

Class A Fires Class B Fires Class C Fires Class K Fires

Fires fueled by organic, combustible materials such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics. These fires pose a risk to restaurants with wood-burning stoves, campgrounds, and other outdoor venues.

Fires fueled by flammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, tars, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, alcohol, and flammable gases. These fires can be prominent in gas stations, bars, and chemistry labs.

Electrical fires involving energized electrical equipment, such as short-circuiting machinery and overloaded electrical cables. These are a danger in breaker rooms, server rooms, or any area with a high volume of electrical equipment.

A major danger in restaurant kitchens, Class K fires occur in cooking appliances that utilize a flammable cooking media such as vegetable or animal oils and fats.

Fire Extinguisher Types Explained

Fire Extinguisher Types Explained

Now that you have an understanding of the different fire classes, knowing which fire extinguisher types to select should be a bit easier. For further clarity and explanations of the extinguishers we offer, check out the list below.

ABC fire extinguishers

ABC Fire Extinguishers

Although people generally look for a class A fire extinguisher, class B fire extinguisher, or class C fire extinguisher, you only need one type to fight these three fire classes. Filled with a dry chemical agent called mono ammonium phosphate, Type ABC fire extinguishers can fight class A, B, and C fires. This agent is corrosive and, as a result, must be scrubbed off of contacted surfaces once the fire is out. These extinguishers are often found in homes, schools, and general office buildings.

class K fire extinguisher

Class K Fire Extinguishers

Class K fire extinguishers are of tremendous importance to commercial kitchens. Class K fire extinguishers contain a blend of Potassium Acetate and Potassium Citrate that is extremely effective in combating fires fueled by cooking oils (including self-heating unsaturated oils) and greases used in commercial cooking appliances. This restaurant fire extinguisher sprays a mist so that the oils don’t splash and it creates a solid barrier between the extreme heat source and oxygen so that it will not be able to reignite.

halotron fire extinguishers

Halotron Fire Extinguishers

Halotron fire extinguishers will extinguish Class B, Class C, and in select models, Class A fires. While other extinguishers can leave a powder residue, the liquid dispersed by Halotron extinguishers evaporates before it can cling, does not cause static or thermal shock, and is non-conducting. These characteristics make Halotron fire extinguishers advantageous in offices, clean rooms, and storage areas with delicate electronic equipment.

carbon dioxide fire extinguisher

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

Co2 fire extinguishers are designed for fighting Class C electrical fires or fires caused by electronic equipment. A carbon dioxide fire extinguisher works by displacing oxygen in the area in which it is used in order to suffocate the fire and rob it of its fuel source. Because of this aspect, they are not recommended for use in confined spaces.

water fire extinguisher

Water / Water Mist Fire Extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers are made to combat Class A fires, whereas a water mist extinguisher can combat both Class A and C fires effectively. Since both types of fire extinguishers do not contain chemical components, they are an ideal choice for those who wish to avoid chemicals and are used frequently in libraries, schools, and businesses.

purple k fire extinguisher

Purple K Fire Extinguishers

Purple K fire extinguishers make use of a dry chemical component to combat Class B and C fires. Although the name might suggest it can be used for Class K fires, these extinguishers are not effective against those types. A Purple K extinguisher is most effective against flammable liquids like tars, petroleum greases, oil-based paints, solvents, alcohol, and flammable gases, as well as electrical fires.

Decoding UL Rating

You will find a UL Rating in the title of the fire extinguishers we offer. For example, an ABC Fire Extinguisher might have a UL Rating of 4-A:80-B:C. But what do these fire extinguisher ratings mean? The numbers in the UL Rating are a relative measurement of how effective a given extinguisher is at fighting certain classes of fires, based on proper fire extinguisher training.

  • A: The number in front of the “A” measures the extinguisher’s water equivalency. A single A is equivalent to 1.25 gallons of water, so a unit with a fire extinguisher rating of 4-A has an equivalent of 5 gallons of water to battle Class A fires.
  • B: The number in front of the “B” illustrates a relative measurement of how much square footage the extinguisher can cover.
  • C & K: These letters indicate that an extinguisher can be used effectively against these fire classes.

Now that you know exactly what the numbers mean, let’s observe how extinguishers compare qualitatively to one another. Let’s compare an extinguisher with a 4-A:80-B:C rating to one with a 1-A:10-B:C rating.

Based on what you’ve learned above, you know that:

  • 4-A:80-B:C is 4x more potent against Class A fires than 1-A:10-B:C.
  • 4-A:80-B:C is 8x more potent against Class B fires than 1-A:10-B:C.
  • Both extinguishers can combat class C fires.

Important Accessories


It is always a good idea to invest in a fire extinguisher for your company vehicle, but storing the extinguisher loosely can cause damage to the unit. Some fire extinguishers we offer ship with DOT approved vehicle brackets so that you can mount your extinguisher securely to one of the side panels of a trunk or beneath one of the front seats in your vehicle. All fire extinguishers that don’t come with a vehicle bracket ship with a standard wall mounting kit so that you can mount an extinguisher in a prominent location within your establishment.

Other Accessories

Sometimes, however, you may want more than a fire extinguisher wall mount to get the most out of your extinguisher. Check out our signs, labels, and other accessories you need.

Vehicle and Marine Bracket

Vehicle / Marine Bracket

A top of the line mounting unit, our heavy duty vehicle / marine bracket features a wide back and bottom with four rubber pads and a stainless steel pull-pin restraining strap for a secure fit.

Shop for Vehicle / Marine Brackets
Surface Mount Fire Extinguisher Cabinet

Surface Mount Cabinets

We offer two types of surface mount cabinets that offer premium tamper-proof protection for your extinguishers. We offer one cabinet that has a locking seal with a durable polystyrene cover, while another surface mount cabinet provides an added layer of protection by including safety locks as well as a breaker bar and chain.

Shop for Surface Mount Cabinets
Recessed Fire Extinguisher Cabinet

Recessed Cabinets

Our semi-recessed fire extinguisher cabinet offers the protection of a solid, enclosed space with the added benefits associated with a recessed construction. A fire extinguisher built into a wall is less visually detracting than one mounted onto a wall, and it also minimizes the chance for accidental damage in high-traffic areas.

Shop for Recessed Cabinets
Fire Extinguisher Cover


Our fire extinguisher cover offers affordable protection of your extinguisher within naturally damp/humid areas such as basements and steam kitchens. The cover is water and mildew resistant and is held in place by convenient, quick-release velcro fasteners.

Shop for Fire Extinguisher Covers
Fire Extinguisher Signs & Labels

Signs & Labels

We offer fire extinguisher labels with a vibrant red background and lettering on top of a white arrow. These labels can be used directly over top of an extinguisher to call attention to its location from far away, or can be used to point employees in the direction of the nearest extinguisher. You can also mark the door of an individual room with one of our white signs imprinted with a bold, red fire extinguisher.

When a fire ignites, it is natural to panic and have a lapse in memory. These signs help employees maintain their composure and shave valuable seconds off of locating the extinguisher when the heat is on.

Shop for Fire Extinguisher Signs & Labels
Expert Tip

How do I clean up after using a fire extinguisher? A fire in your restaurant, office, or home is scary enough, cleaning up after using a fire extinguisher doesn’t need to be as well. Follow these simple steps to clean up after using your fire extinguisher.

  1. Suit up. While most fire extinguishers are not harmful, it is always best to use precaution. We recommend wearing a dust mask or respirator, gloves, and goggles as the chemicals used can cause skin and eye irritation.
  2. Clean up. As stated above, not all fire extinguishers are the same and that means clean up may be different. It is important to know what type of fire extinguisher you have before cleaning up any residue.
    • For ABC, Purple K, and Class K extinguishers with dry chemicals, you can usually clean up powder residue with water and a mop or sponges. It is important to make sure to clean all areas as the powder can cause damage to delicate electronics over time. For Class K extinguishers you may need to also scrub with a 50/50 warm water and isopropyl alcohol mixture to dilute any leftover residue. You should be able to mop this up. For any lingering residue, you can also try mixing vinegar with water and scrubbing with a sponge.
    • For Halotron and Carbon Dioxide, there is no clean up necessary (other than from the fire itself). These extinguishers leave no residue behind.
    • For Water / Water Mist extinguishers that are purely water, clean-up is as simple as if you were cleaning up a spilled cup of water - just on a larger scale.
  3. Recharge or replace. Any time a fire extinguisher is used, even if it isn’t empty, it should be immediately replaced if it is a single use extinguisher or recharged by a professional fire extinguisher servicing company if it is rechargeable. If you need help finding a servicing company, check with your local fire department. You never know when you will need to use your fire extinguisher again.

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