What Do the Symbols on a Fire Extinguisher Indicate

If you have ever seen a fire extinguisher before and have time to check through, you will notice some symbols on it. So, what do you think these symbols indicate? Well, in this article, we will be providing an answer to “what do the symbols on a fire extinguisher indicate.”

The fire extinguisher’s symbols symbolize different things, and of course, you would want to know them so that you will not just get a fire extinguisher without knowing what the symbols are.

The fire extinguisher’s signs are like road signs, so you need to know what they stand for before you can use the active fire protection agent.

Many people find it confusing to identify the fire extinguisher’s symbols because of the brand or manufacturer. You don’t have to confuse yourself because, in the long run, all the fire extinguisher symbols are the same or have a little difference.

So, you will no longer be a novice after reading this article because you will be able to identify each of the symbols on your fire extinguisher.

If you have a fire extinguisher and you are lost on the best way to dispose of them, check out our article on how to dispose of a fire extinguisher.

What is a Fire Extinguisher?

In simple words, a fire extinguisher is an active agent used in controlling small fire outbreaks. So, with your fire extinguisher, you don’t need to call a fire service if the infant can be curbed using the mobile fire extinguisher.

You will need the service of a fire team or department to control a huge fire outbreak since the fire extinguisher is made to curb or control small lights so that it’ll not go out of hand.What Do the Symbols on a Fire Extinguisher Indicate

Types of Fire Extinguishers Content

The fire extinguishers agent or content are classified into six types which are:

  • Water
  • Foam
  • CO2
  • Powder
  • Water mist
  • Wet chemical

Each fire extinguisher’s content is suitable for a different purpose, making up a different type of fire extinguishers and the type of fire they can put under control.

Therefore, it’s important that you choose the type of fire extinguisher agent that meets your need.

Below is the content on each of the fire extinguishers classes or type before moving to “what do the symbol on a fire extinguisher indicate,” which you can learn in the table below.

Fire Extinguisher ContentsPurpose
WaterClass A fires (solid combustibles such as wood, paper and textiles). Some water extinguishers are safe on electrical equipment if di-electrically tested. Otherwise caution is required near electrical equipment, as ordinary water is a conductor.
AFFF foamA and B can handle flammable liquids. This type of extinguisher is safe Safe on electrical equipment if di-electrically tested.
Carbon dioxide (CO2)Class B and electrical equipment only
ABC powderClass A, B, C is a combined fire extinguisher class that can peacefully handle fire from flammable substance such as gases and some electrical equipment
De-Ionised water mistClass A, B, C and electrical equipment
Wet chemicalClass F (deep cooking fat) fires, sometimes handles fire that falls in the fires class A.

What Do the Symbols on a Fire Extinguisher Indicate

Fire extinguishers are divided into three different types, and the types are classified by a number and letter symbol. Now, understanding both the letter and symbol is important as each of them plays an important role.

The number in your fire extinguisher indicates the size of the fire extinguisher, and the letter symbol indicates the type of fire the fire extinguisher can control or extinguish.

Type of Fire ExtinguishersWhat are the Types Symbol Symbolize
Type AType A fire extinguishers handle fires in combustible solids materials such as wood. The number in the extinguisher defines how many gallons of water the fire extinguisher agent is equivalent to. 
Type BType B fire extinguishers are can put off light from gasoline or oil when properly applied. The number in the extinguishers tell you the area or footage square that the fire extinguisher can handle.
Type CAll type C fire extinguihers are electrical fires. This type of fire extinguishers do not use numbers.
Type DThe type D fire extinguishers can handle fire outbreaks in laboratories where combustible metals can be found. The include  magnesium, titanium, potassium or sodium. The type or class D extinguisher has a geometric symbol of a yellow star or decagon. Mostly, this type of fire extinguishers have a symbol of metal beams and flames.
Type KThis types of fire extinguishers can handle fire from cooking oils, fat cooking in home and offices appliances. So, this type is suitable for kitchens or restaurants where cooking take place. In this type of a fire extinguisher you will see black hexagon and frying pan in flame as the geometric symbol.
CombinationsSome fire extinguishers are multi-purpose that can serve as two classes or types of fire extinguishers combined. These types of fire extinguishers are commonly used at home. However, a multi-purpose fire extinguisher has more than one symbol and picture to indicate what the symbols of the extinguisher stands for.
So, when you see ACD or ABD or ABC letter written in a fire extinguisher, it indicates that the extinguisher is a multi-purpose.

It’s important to know and understand your fire extinguisher symbols so as to know the class it belongs to. And with the guide on what do the symbols on a fire extinguisher indicate, you should be able to specify the category your extinguisher belongs to and the type of fire it can be used to extinguish.

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