A water fire extinguisher cannot be used to put out oil fires. I once had a candle wax fire and when I poured water on it, the flames shot upward and almost caught my drapes on fire! For that kind of fire, your best bet is to use baking soda or suffocate it. Fire extinguishers are classified into four different categories, based on what they can extinguish. There is also a number rating which tells you how much fire it can handle. The higher the number, the bigger the fire. Go to the link provided for a comprehensive breakdown of the types.
Water fire extinguishers use water to put out fires, rather than many others that use a chemical foam to put our fires. The foam is ideal for both oil and electrical fires, providing a safe alternative for both in place of water extinguishers. Oil is less dense than water which means the fire would continue to burn on top of the water and electrical fires should never be put out using water.
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