Not every fire extinguisher is a multipurpose fire extinguisher. Multipurpose fire extinguishers can be used on any type of fire and are very popular. Unfortunately they can leave a mess after the fire is extinguished. Some extinguishers work better that a multipurpose extinguisher in certain situations, so you may encounter different types. Identify and become familiar with the fire extinguishers in your home or at work.
Extinguish ordinary combustibles like paper or wood by cooling the material below its ignition temperature and soaking the fibers to prevent re-ignition. Use pressurized water, foam or a multipurpose extinguisher for these types of fires. Do not use carbon dioxide or ordinary (BC rated) dry chemical extinguishers in Class A fires.
Extinguish flammable liquids, greases, or gases by removing oxygen, preventing the vapors from reaching the ignition source or inhibiting the chemical chain reaction. Foam, carbon dioxide, ordinary (BC rated) dry chemical and multipurpose dry chemical may be used to fight Class B fires. Do not use pressurized water to fight Class B type fires.
Extinguish energized electrical equipment by using an extinguishing agent that is not capable of conducting electrical currents. Carbon dioxide, ordinary (BC type) dry chemical, multipurpose dry chemical fire extinguishers are widely used. Do not use water extinguishers on energized electrical equipment.