The requirements for portable fire extinguishers used in general industry are governed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and are located in the Code of Federal Regulations 29CFR 1910.157. There are five primary types of fire extinguishers, each designed to put out different kinds of fires.
- Class A extinguishers are used to fight fires associated with common combustibles such as wood, upholstery or fibers.
- Class B extinguishers are used with combustible and flammable liquids such as gasoline or oil.
- Class C extinguishers are used to fight fires resulting from electrical equipment.
- Class D extinguishers are used with fires associated with flammable metals.
- Class K extinguishers are used to fight fires involving cooking media (i.e. fats, grease and oils).
- Class ABC extinguishers are used to fight fires associated with wood, upholstery or fibers, gasoline or oil and electrical equipment fires.
Additional information that may also be necessary when selecting fire extinguishers are the size and UL rating required.