Fire extinguishers are classified according to the types of fires they are optimised for. Probably the most common types of fires on boats are classes B, C, F and Electrical.
|Class A Fires||
Fires involving solid combustible materials such as wood, textiles, straw, paper, coal etc.
|Class B Fires||
Fires caused by combustion of liquids or materials that liquify such as petrol, oils, fats, paints, tar, ether, alcohol, stearin and paraffin.
|Class C Fires||
Fires caused by combustion of gases such as methane, propane, hydrogen, acetylene, natural gas and city gas
|Class D Fires||
Fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium, aluminium, lithium, sodium, potassium and their alloys. Combustible metal fires are unique industrial hazards which require special fire extinguishers.
|Class F Fires||
Fires involving combustible cooking media such as oils and grease commonly found in commercial kitchens. These fires require a special wet chemical extinguishing agent that is specially suited for extinguishing and suppressing these extremely hot fires that have the ability to re-ignite easily.
|(E) Electrical Fires||
Fires involving electrical appliances such as computers, electrical heaters, stereos, fuse boxes etc.
The classes of fire are shown on each extinguisher. Powder typically only deal with classes A and B. The Go Earth Marine Fire Extinguishers are designated for classes B, C, E, F and electrical.
This gives those boat owners covered by the Boat Safety Scheme (BSS) (mainly just those on rivers and canals) a dilemma. The BSS requires that you also have (an) extinguisher(s) capable of dealing with type A fires; yet if you have use powder type, which is effective on type A, you will be left with a massive mess. The solution is to have sufficient extinguishers to satisfy BSS; and then use the Go Earth Marine Fire Extinguishers to provide convenient extra cover against other fire types.