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Class A Extinguishers
Fire extinguishers in the Class A category have a green symbol on the front of the canister with a picture of a burning garbage can. These extinguishers are used on ordinary combustibles, such as wood or paper, and typically contain plain water.
Class B Extinguishers
Class B fire extinguishers have a red square as their symbol containing a picture of a gasoline can with a burning puddle inside. These are used for flammable liquids such as gasoline or oil. They typically have carbon dioxide or foam inside.
Class C Extinguishers
Class C is used for energized electrical equipment that has caught fire, such as a fuse box or an outlet. These have a blue circle with a picture of an electric plug and a burning outlet as their symbol. They typically contain a dry chemical to put out these fires.
Class D Extinguishers
Class D extinguishers are usually only found in laboratories. They are for use on chemicals that have caught fire, such as magnesium or titanium. The symbol for this class is a yellow star that contains no added picture.
Read more: Why Are the Fire Extinguishers Different Colors? | eHow.com
Prior to 1st Jan 1997, the code of practice for fire extinguishers in the UK was BS 5423, which advised the colour coding of fire extinguishers as follows:
Water - Red
Foam - Cream
Dry Powder - Blue
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) - Black
Halon - Green (now 'illegal' except for a few exceptions such as the Police, Armed Services and Aircraft).
New extinguishers should conform to BS EN 3, which requires that the entire body of the extinguisher be coloured red. A zone of colour of up to 5% of the external area can be used to identify the contents using the old colour coding shown above.
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