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Classes of Fire

The fire triangle.

Depending on the country you are in there are slightly different categorisations of fire, .e.g. USA and Europe. We will examine the European classifications.

In Europe, fires can be divided into six classes:

  • Class A: These are fires involving flammable solids, e.g. wood, cloth, rubber, paper, and some types of plastics. An example of this type of fire would be a campsite fire.
  • Class B: These are fires involving flammable liquids or liquefiable solids, e.g. petrol, oil, paint and also some waxes & plastics, but not cooking fats or oils.
  • Class C: These are fires involving flammable gases, e.g. natural gas, hydrogen, propane, butane.
  • Class D: These are fires involving combustible metals, e.g. sodium, magnesium, and potassium.
  • Class E: These are fires involving any of the materials found in Class A and B fires, but including electrical appliances, wiring, or other electrically energized objects in the vicinity of the fire, with a resultant electrical shock risk if a conductive agent is used to control the fire.
  • Class F: These are fires involving cooking fats and oils. The high temperature of these types of fats and oil when on fire far exceeds that of other flammable liquids which means that normal fire extinguishers should not be used.

Click here for the wiki resource on classes of fire.

Next: Extinguisher Maintenance