Fire Brigades

Chapter 296-811, WAC

Effective Date: 03/01/06


WAC 296-811-600


For printing

Buddy-breathing device

An equipment accessory for self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) that permits a second person (a “buddy”) to share the air supply used by the SCBA wearer.

Extinguisher classification

The letter classification given an extinguisher to designate the class or classes of fires on which that extinguisher will be effective. For example, use a Class A extinguisher on a Class A fire. See also fire classifications.

Portable fire extinguishers are classified for use on certain classes of fires and are rated within that class for relative extinguishing effectiveness at a temperature of plus 70°F by nationally recognized testing laboratories. This is based upon fire classifications and fire extinguishment potentials as determined by fire tests.




  • The classification and rating system described in this section is used by Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc., and Underwriters’ Laboratories of Canada, and is based on extinguishing preplanned fires of determined size and description as follows:
Extinguisher Class Fire Test for Classification and Rating
Class A Wood and excelsior fires excluding deep-seated conditions.
Class B Two-inch depth gasoline fires in square pans.
Class C No fire test. Agent must be a nonconductor of electricity.
Class D Special tests on specific combustible metal fires.

Extinguisher rating (see also “extinguisher classification”)

The numerical rating, such as 2A, given to an extinguisher that indicates the extinguishing potential of the unit based on standardized tests developed by Underwriters’ Laboratories, Inc.

Fire brigade

An organized group of employees whose primary employment is other than fire fighting but who are knowledgeable, trained, and skilled in specialized fire fighting operations based on site-specific hazards present at a single commercial facility or facilities under the same management.

Fire classifications

Fires are classified based on the types of burning materials:

Fire Class Types of Burning Materials
Class A Fires involving ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cloth, and some rubber and plastic materials.
Class B Fires involving flammable or combustible liquids, flammable gases, greases, and similar materials, and some rubber and plastic materials.
Class C Fires involving energized (live) electrical equipment where it’s important that the extinguishing agent not conduct electricity. (When electrical equipment is de-energized, it’s safe to use an extinguisher for Class A or B fires on it, since electricity isn’t an issue then.)
Class D Fire involving combustible metals such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium.

Incipient fire stage

A fire in the beginning stage that can be controlled or put out by portable fire extinguishers, or small hose systems, without the need for protective clothing or breathing apparatus.


A visual check of fire protection systems and equipment to ensure they are in place, charged, and ready for use if there is a fire.

Interior structural fire fighting

The physical activity of suppressing fire, rescuing people, or both, inside buildings or enclosed structures involved in a fire that’s past the incipient stage.


Servicing fire protection equipment and systems to ensure they will perform as expected if there is a fire. Maintenance differs from inspection in that maintenance requires checking internal fittings, devices, and agent supplies, as well as correcting deficiencies found.

Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA)

Self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) in which the air pressure in the breathing zone is higher than that of the immediate environment during both inhaling and exhaling.


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