Stock different types of fire extinguishers in common areas

It would be ideal if all homes were equipped with fire extinguishers ("Make fire extinguishers mandatory in homes" by Ms Huang Mengran; Forum Online, June 19).

But the question would then be whether residents know which type suits them.

Different classes of fires require different types of fire extinguishers.

Class A fires involve ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, paper, fabric, plastic or rubbish; Class B fires involve electrical apparatus; and Class F fires involve cooking media.

Dry powder fire extinguishers (often termed "multi-purpose extinguishers"), foam fire extinguishers and wet chemical fire extinguishers can all be used effectively on Class A fires.

However, foam and wet chemical fire extinguishers must never be used on electrical fires. In such cases, carbon dioxide fire extinguishers should be used instead.

As for wet chemical fire extinguishers, they are ideal for fires involving cooking oil.

Unless we store all the different types of fire extinguishers at home, we are ill equipped in the fight against different types of fires.

Perhaps a better way is to mandate that residential buildings, instead of individual homes, have fire extinguishers.

All the different types of extinguishers can be installed at the common areas, and residents can share them at a lower cost.

Sharing makes good sense, as most fire extinguishers are unused by their expiry dates.

Chee Chi Weng