The University of Iowa

Critical Incident Management Plan


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Fire Extinguisher Guide

NOTE – The intent of this guide is that University employees are NOT REQUIRED to fight fires they discover with portable fire extinguishers; but to provide employees with the information needed to use portable fire extinguishers if a small fire situation arises.

Types of Fire

Class “A” – Involves ordinary combustible materials like: wood, paper, & cloth
Class “B” – Involves flammable & combustible liquids and gases
Class “C” – Involves a fire in electrical equipment
Class “D” – Involves flammable & combustible metals
Class “K” – Involves a fire in a commercial cooking appliance

Type of Fire Extinguisher to Use Type of fire
  Class A:
Class B:
Combustible liquids/gas
Class C:
electrical equipment
Class D:
Combustible metal
Class K:
Commercial cooking appliance
ABC Dry Chemical x x x    
BC Dry Chemical   x x    
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)   x x    
Pressurized Water x        
Pressurized Water Mist x   x    
Wet Chemical         x
Dry Powder       x  
CleanGuard (Halon Replacement)   x x    


Operation of a Portable Fire Extinguisher

NOTE – A fire extinguisher is designed to extinguish small fires. Any time an employee utilizes a fire extinguisher; they must always have an exit/escape from the situation at their back. Never place a fire situation between you and your exit. If a fire extinguisher is utilized in or around a University building, the operator must report the incident as a fire to 9 1 1 as soon as possible.

Remember P.A.S.S.

  • Pull and TWIST the pin from the extinguishers handle
  • Aim the hose or nozzle towards the fire
  • Squeeze the handles of the extinguisher together
  • Sweep the extinguishing agent at the base of the fire

Training is available

“Hands-on” fire extinguisher training is available and can be arranged by contacting UI Facility Management at 335-5125.