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Different Types of Fire Extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are an integral part of the fire safety provisions for any building and it is important to ensure that the correct type of fire extinguisher is installed and maintained.

Fire Extinguisher Colour Codes (UK)

Fire extinguishers meeting BS EN3 are manufactured with a red body and have a band of a second colour covering between 5-10% of the surface relating to the extinguisher's contents. Each different type of extinguisher agent has a corresponding colour making identification easier for the user.

Below is an overview of each extinguisher agent and its corresponding colour.

ABC Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

ABC POWDER
powder fire extinguisher

AFFF Foam Fire Extinguishers

AFFF FOAM
foam fire extignusiehsr

CO2 Fire Extinguishers

CARBON DIOXIDE
CO2 fire extinguisher

Water Fire Extinguishers

WATER
Water fire extinguisher

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

WET CHEMICAL
Wet chemical fire extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher Classes and Suitability

Fires are classified according to the combustible materials that are involved. Each type of fire extinguisher is suitable for different types of burning media and will have a fire rating based on the volume of fire that they are capable of extinguishing.

Below is an overview of each type of fire extinguisher including its rating and suitable uses.

Type of Fire Extinguisher Fire Classification Fire Extinguisher Suitability
ABC Dry Powder
Suitable for Class A Fires Suitable for Class B Fires Suitable for Class C Fires Not suitable for Class F Fires Suitable for Electrical Fires
Powder fire extinguishers are ideal for use in mixed risk environments and offer excellent all round fire protection. With a unique class C rating, powder fire extinguishers are the only effective solution for fires involving flammable gases.
AFF Foam
Suitable for Class A Fires Suitable for Class B Fires Not suitable for Class C Fires Not suitable for Class F Fires Not suitable for Electrical Fires
Foam fire extinguishers are ideal for use on fire involving solid combustible materials and are highly effective on flammable liquid fires. The layer of foam applied by these extinguishers helps to prevent re-ignition after the fire has been extinguished.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
Not suitable for Class A Fires Suitable for Class B Fires Not suitable for Class C Fires Not suitable for Class F Fires Suitable for Electrical Fires
CO2 fire extinguishers are suitable for use on flammable liquid fires and are extremely effective at extinguishing fire involving electrical equipment. CO2 is also one of the cleanest extinguisher agents and leaves no residue behind.
Water
Suitable for Class A Fires Not suitable for Class B Fires Not suitable for Class C Fires Not suitable for Class F Fires Not suitable for Electrical Fires
Water fire extinguishers are suitable for use in environments containing solid combustible materials such as wood, paper and textiles. It is important to remember that water conducts electricity and should not be used around electrical equipment (unless water extinguishers with additive are used).
Wet Chemical
Suitable for Class A Fires Not suitable for Class B Fires Not suitable for Class C Fires Suitable for Class F Fires Suitable for Electrical Fires
Wet chemical fire extinguishers have a unique class F rating and are usually supplied with a special application lance. The perfect solution for tackling large burning oil fires, wet chemical extinguishers are ideally suited to the kitchen environment.

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