Fire Extinguisher

  • Advertise with us

« back to Safety in the Woodworking Shop forum

Forum topic by mnorusis posted 08-16-2010 03:41 PM 1654 views 0 times favorited 13 replies Add to Favorites Watch
View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4483 days

08-16-2010 03:41 PM

I’m embarrassed to say that I do not yet have a fire extinguisher, but this week is when that oversight will be rectified.

As I understand it, since I do a small amount of working with metal (mostly cutting brass and aluminum), and plan on doing more in the future, I would need an extinguisher that is ABCD rated?

Does anyone have suggestions on where to find a fire extinguisher like that?


13 replies so far

View Wolffarmer's profile


407 posts in 4578 days

#1 posted 08-16-2010 04:37 PM

What is a fire extinguisher??

Seriously I can’t say I have ever heard of the “D” rating.

I do a lot of metal work, including arc and gas welding and gas cutting. I don’t see why any would need something other than an ABC unit. Need one for a Solid fuel fire, Liquid fuel fire and electrical fires. Is there another kind of fire they invented? And if your are sawing brass and aluminum I don’t see a very large risk there at all ( fire wise ).

Oh, and if my gas lines leak and start burning, just plain silly to try and extinguish it. Just turn the valves off and then treat any remaining fire as usual.


-- That was not wormy wood when I started working on it.

View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4483 days

#2 posted 08-16-2010 04:39 PM

fyi, I read about the D rating in this thread:

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 4452 days

#3 posted 08-16-2010 06:46 PM

I don’t believe you will find a single fire extinguisher that is rated for classes ABC and D. Class D type extinguishers have to have the extinguishing agent matched to the combustible material. That said, I don’t believe that brass and aluminum would normally be consider combustible, except possibly for powdered aluminum. See this link:

Google has many other links with similar information.

The most common type of extinguisher you will find is the Class ABC dry chemical. (this is what I have in my shop). Another possibility is a water type extinguisher that uses compressed air. These you can refill and recharge yourself, but since it is water, it must ONLY be used on class A fires (like when your sawdust pile catches fire). The catch is, this must be protected from freezing, so is only useful in a shop that never gets below freezing temperatures. The advantage of course is that it is free to refill if ever used.

Please be sure to read and follow the directions on any extinguisher you obtain, and ask your local fire department for advice on types and locations if you have any doubts.

View FirehouseWoodworking's profile


792 posts in 4613 days

#4 posted 08-16-2010 09:34 PM


Lifesaver2000 just about summed it up. Class D extinguishers are metal-specific and quite expensive. Powdered aluminum would be just about the only possible hazard from what you’ve described, and then, it is a stretch unless you’re sanding the aluminum.

A good ABC extinguisher is the best thing for your shop. While pressurized water is handy, it’s dangerous around electricity and petroleum-based fuel fires. If you do choose to have a pressurized water extinguisher for sawdust fires, add about a cup of Dawn dish washing detergent. This acts as a “surfactant” which aids the water’s penetrating ability in sawdust piles. If you’re worrying about freezing, add some pet-friendly anti-freeze.

If you’re still worried about the possible aluminum fires, keep a pail of DRY sand. Playground or sandbox sand works best. Just don’t put water on metal-based fires!


-- Dave; Lansing, Kansas

View mnorusis's profile


157 posts in 4483 days

#5 posted 08-16-2010 09:36 PM

Thanks guys!

I’ll grab a couple of ABC extinguishers


View Steven H's profile

Steven H

1117 posts in 4400 days

#6 posted 08-16-2010 10:08 PM

Even if you don’t do metal work every day, I say get at least one Class D fire extinguisher just to be safe. And one ABC also.

View Howie's profile


2656 posts in 4263 days

#7 posted 08-17-2010 03:27 AM

On another note: After buying an extinguisher learning to use it properly is a must! There is more to it than just blasting away.

-- Life is good.

View JasonWagner's profile


566 posts in 4520 days

#8 posted 08-17-2010 03:50 AM

Most others hit it on the head…a class D is for flammable metals and you won’t find a pile of aluminum, brass or steel shavings burning any time soon. I’m a chemist and we have D extinguishers for sodium, potassium, magnesium metals.

One thing you do want is at least a 5-10lb. Those junk little ones from Kidde are a joke. Something really nice is CO2 because there’s no corrosive chemical to clean up, but they are pretty costly.

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Mark Shymanski's profile

Mark Shymanski

5623 posts in 5053 days

#9 posted 08-17-2010 04:36 AM

I’m not sure this is true but I was told that the antifreeze they put into windshield wiper fluid is flammable! It would make me very careful before I put any kind of antifreeze into my fire-extinguisher.

-- "Checking for square? What madness is this! The cabinet is square because I will it to be so!" Jeremy Greiner LJ Topic#20953 2011 Feb 2

View Lifesaver2000's profile


556 posts in 4452 days

#10 posted 08-17-2010 06:42 AM

CO2 extinguishers are nice (we carry one on our first out engine) but keep in mind they are usually only rated for Class B and C fires. CO2 extinguishers work by displacing the oxygen needed for combustion. Once the CO2 dissipates, the burning material of a class A fire will often still be hot enough to reignite.

Since we are talking about a woodworking shop, the most common fires will likely be Class A (that is your wood or sawdust), so a CO2 extinguisher should not be the only one available.

View JasonWagner's profile


566 posts in 4520 days

#11 posted 08-24-2010 02:33 AM

thanks for the futher elaboration Lifesaver2000…didn’t think about it that much

-- some day I hope to have enough clamps to need a clamp cart!

View Knothead62's profile


2600 posts in 4301 days

#12 posted 08-24-2010 07:42 PM

Good idea to have one handy. We had a grease fire many, many years ago. Fortunately, we had a small FE in the kitchen. However, it blew grease all over the kitchen. Easier to clean up, I guess, than rebuild.

View Lee Barker's profile

Lee Barker

2172 posts in 4190 days

#13 posted 08-24-2010 10:35 PM

I have two in my 1800 sq. ft. shop, and the experts counseled me to place them right at the exit doors. Makes perfect sense, but I think without that info I would have likely had them in the middle.

Since I have a commercial shop, My insurance co. wants to know that I have them and that I maintain them annually, which I do ($30).

Gudonia for thinking about this and asking.

-- " his brain, which is as dry as the remainder biscuit after a voyage, he hath strange places cramm'd with observation, the which he vents in mangled forms." --Shakespeare, "As You Like It"

Have your say...

You must be signed in to reply.

DISCLAIMER: Any posts on LJ are posted by individuals acting in their own right and do not necessarily reflect the views of LJ. LJ will not be held liable for the actions of any user.

Latest Projects | Latest Blog Entries | Latest Forum Topics