Different Classes of fire and their Control | Class A fires, Class B fires, Class C fires, Class D fires, Class F fires

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For effective fire fighting on board a ship, thorough knowledge of the classification of fires is required. 

Fires are classified into six types depending on the material, which acts as fuel to start a fire as per the international Organisation for Standardization.


As per  National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). This is followed in the United States of America. They are:


Class A: Result from ordinary combustible materials, including wood, cloth, paper, and many plastics. 

Class A Fire
Class A fire

Class B: Burn inflammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, oils, alcohols, and flammable gases. 

Class B Fire
Class B

Class C: Involve energized electrical equipment. 

Class C fire
Class C

Class D: Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium. 

Class D Fire
Class D

Class K: Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking media, such as vegetable or animal oils and fats.

Class K Fire
Class K

In India ISO standards are followed. They are:


Class A fires – Combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and fabric

Class B fires – Flammable liquids: such as petrol, turpentine or paint

Class C fires – Flammable gases: like hydrogen, butane or methane

Class D fires – Combustible metals: chemicals such as magnesium, aluminium or potassiumElectrical fires – Electrical equipment: once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class

Class F fires – Cooking oils: typically a chip-pan fire.

There are six different classes of fire that can be prevented by using a different fire extinguisher.

Fire Extinguisher 1
Fire extinguishers used for different classes of fires

Extinguisher class and colour
Source: https://www.marsden-fire-safety.co.uk/resources/fire-extinguishers

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