Basic knowledge of firefighting techniques can ensure your safety and the safety of others if a fire breaks out at home or work. Knowing the different types of fire and how to use a fire extinguisher can prevent fire from spreading before the fire department arrives. Fires are broken down into five different categories based on what the fire source is. Knowing what is fueling the fire will help you determine how to fight it effectively.

1. Class K Fires

Class K fires may be the most common fire type in your home. They are cooking fires fueled by butter, oil and grease. Commercial kitchens and residential homes are prime sources for cooking fires to start. Fire extinguishers are the best way to fight this type of fire. Filled with chemical agents, extinguishers have the ability to absorb heat and deplete oxygen availability. You don’t need a firefighter certification Texas to fight fire, but all homeowners should know how to operate the fire extinguisher in their kitchen to prevent overwhelming fire damage.

2. Class A Fires

Class A fires are typically accidental and are fueled by common materials, such as wood, plastic, paper or fabric. These fires can be extinguished with a continuous source of water directed at the base of the fire. Call for help as soon as possible, and clear the area, if combustible items are spotted.

3. Class B Fires

Flammable gases, such as propane and butane, and flammable liquids, such as alcohol, solvents and gasoline, fuel Class B fires. Water should never be used on a Class B fire because it can splatter the liquids and help the fire spread quickly. Instead, dry chemicals must be used to deplete the oxygen available, allowing the fire to be smothered.

4. Class C Fires

Appliances and power equipment lead to Class C electrical fires. The first course of action in combating an electrical fire is to shut off the power source. Non-conductive chemicals are needed to douse this type of fire.

5. Class D Fires

Laboratories are usually the location of Class D fires, as the fuel source is combustible metals. This type of fire should never be put out with water. Dry powder agents like sodium chloride and graphite powder can be used to smother the flames.

While a Class K fire may be the most likely fire you’ll come in contact with, knowing how to fight each type of fire is crucial to keep you and your loved ones safe.