As summer begins, the temperature starts to rise, making it easier for fires to start. Fire extinguishers serve as the first line of defense against fires and are often the most overlooked tools for fire prevention. Learning the crucial differences between fire extinguisher types can be crucial in emergency situations.

In order to understand how fire extinguishers can be used effectively, one must understand the different types of fires.

Class A fires are caused by ordinary, combustible materials like wood, paper, plastic and includes fire crackers.

Class B fires are caused by flammable liquids and chemicals such as Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG).

Class C fires are caused by electrical faults, such as overheating appliances.

Class D fires are caused by combustible metals, like titanium and magnesium. These fires are rare, as per the Bureau of Fire Protection, and should be put out by the fire department, in order to ensure people’s safety.

The most common type of fire extinguisher is the dry chemical type. It is easily identifiable by its red tank and white band around the body. This fire extinguisher can be used for Class A, B, and C fires.

Foaming fire extinguishers, identified by their blue tanks or occasionally red tanks with blue bands, can be used for Class A and B fires. As the foam is water-based, this cannot be used for Class C fires because this may create shock hazards.

Lastly, there are the Hexafluoropropane (HCFC) fire extinguishers, denoted by their green tanks and white bands. These are recommended for Class A, B, and especially Class C fires.

The weight of the fire extinguisher will also depend on your needs. A ten-pound fire extinguisher is more advisable for larger spaces like garages, while a five-pound extinguisher would suit smaller spaces like kitchens. A two-pound fire extinguisher, while small, is a good size for keeping in your car.

Prevention is key in protecting your home from fires. “Fire extinguishers are your first line of defense against fire damage or fire loss,” says Malayan Insurance’s Underwriting 1 Cluster Head Sharon Navarro, “But nothing compares to the peace of mind provided by insuring your home against fire and other property damage.”

Avail of home insurance like Malayan’s Home Protect+, which provides coverage for fires and other allied perils, thus ensuring that you and your loved ones are protected no matter what.

To learn more about Home Protect+, visit

Founded in 1930, Malayan Insurance is a member of the Yuchengco Group of Companies. Malayan Insurance is the leading non-life insurer of the Philippines.