Fire Extinguishers Explained

Fire safety training will give you and your employees information about fire protection equipment and when it should be used. One of the most important things to understand are the different fire extinguishers that are available, as using the wrong one could create just as many problems as the fire itself.

There are five different classes of fire risks: A, B, C, D, F. Each class describes a different kind of fire and the fire extinguisher will be clearly labelled with the risk classes they are able to fight. If you are buying fire extinguishers for your property, but are unsure which one you need to install in which areas, then our extinguisher guide should provide you with everything you need to know. Our friendly staff will also be more than happy to help.

Class A: solids such as paper and wood
Class B: liquid fires such as burning petrol (not fat)
Class C: gas fires
Class D: burning metal such as magnesium
Class F: fat fires and deep fat fryer fires

The classes stated on the extinguisher also have a number next to them. The higher the number, the better the fire fighting capability of the extinguisher in this class.

Water extinguishers (colour coded red) are the most widely used and are used on solids such as paper, wood or fabrics. They should not be used on electrical equipment unless they contain an additive. Offices and reception areas are usually equipped with foam extinguishers (cream colour coding) and CO2 extinguishers (colour coded black). CO2 extinguishers will not damage the electrical equipment.

If your building has a kitchen, this will need a wet chemical or an ABF fire extinguisher to deal with fat fires. Other areas with greater fire hazards, such as laboratories, may require powder (coded blue), metal or CO2 fire extinguishers as appropriate depending on the risks involved. Powder extinguishers can be used on solids, flammable liquids or gases.