What are the different types of Fire Extinguishers?

It's important to know the difference between the type and class of fire extinguisher.

All elements of fire protection covered
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  • Resources from TVF Ltd

There are two reasons why fire extinguishers are so important.

Reason #1 – Save Lives

The first is to help save lives in an emergency since having the appropriate fire extinguisher on hand could mean stopping a fire before it has a chance to spread.

Reason #2 – Legal Obligations

The second reason is that it’s a legal obligation for commercial premises to have properly sited and maintained fire extinguishers – as set out by The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, which states that the responsible person must ensure: “the premises are, to the extent that it is appropriate, equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment…”.

How many extinguishers you require and where they should be placed in your building is something a professional fire safety company can help you with, but you’ll also need to be familiar with the different types of extinguishers.

Here at TVF Ltd, we are specialists in fire protection. If you need new fire extinguishers for your business, or need your current extinguishers servicing, we can help.

Call our team today on 01753 907 640 to discuss your needs.

In this article, we’ll run through the different extinguisher types, the classes of fire extinguisher within those types, what they can be used on and which setting they’re best for.

Fire Extinguisher Types

Key
Dry PowderFoamCO2Wet ChemicalWater

Class A
Class B
Class C
Class D
Electrical
Class F

Dry Powder (Blue)

What you should use it on: Organic solids, gas fires and liquids like paint and oil.

Don’t use on: Chip pan fires or where deeper penetrating coverage is needed. Do not use in small, confined spaces as powder inhalation is dangerous.

How you use it: Use a sweeping motion while directing the powder down at the base of the flames.

Classes:

  • Class A
  • Class B
  • Class C
  • Class D
  • Electrical

Businesses most suited: Used in auto centres, boiler rooms, gas manufacturing and welding areas.

Foam (Cream)

What you should use it on: Solids and liquids such as paint, petrol or spirits.

Don’t use on: Cooking oil/fat fires.

How you use it: For solids on fire, point the extinguisher at the base of the flames, for liquids on fire, direct the foam at the edges to build up and cover the liquid.

Classes:

  • Class A
  • Class B

Businesses most suited: Used in retail spaces, offices, hospitals and apartment blocks.

CO2 (Black)

What you should use it on: Electrical equipment which is live, as well as server banks.

Don’t use on: Chip pan fires and fat fires.

How you use it: Ensure you use the frost-free horn to avoid freezing your hand and avoid use in confined spaces as CO2 can lead to asphyxiation. Ensure the fire is fully out as CO2 is not a coolant for fires. Sweep the horn at the base of the flames.

Classes:

  • Class B
  • Electrical

Businesses most suited: Used in office spaces, IT centres and server rooms.

Wet Chemical (Yellow)

What you should use it on: Use on cooking fires involving oils and fats.

Don’t use on: Standard wet chemical extinguishers should not be used on petrol fires.

How you use it: Spray the mist onto the cooking fire to both cool the fire and cover the liquid – this avoids splashing the oils and fats which can cause burns or start new fires.

Classes:

  • Class A
  • Class F

Businesses most suited: Used in cooking environments such as kitchens, restaurants and canteens.

Water (Red)

What you should use it on: Organic materials such as wood, paper, coal and textiles.

Don’t use on: Any electrical appliances or cooking oil/fat fires.

How you use it: Point and spray the flames at their base, moving across until extinguished.

Classes:

  • Class A

Businesses most suited: Used in schools, offices, retail spaces and hospitals.

Fire Extinguisher Classes

What are the different classes of Fire Extinguishers used for?

  • Class A Extinguishers = Organic material
  • Class B Extinguishers = Flammable liquids
  • Class C Extinguishers = Flammable gases
  • Class D Extinguishers = Flammable metals
  • Electrical Extinguishers = Electrical items
  • Class F Extinguishers = Cooking oils and fats

 

If you’re unsure which type and class of fire extinguisher your business needs, look no further than the expert team at TVF, we’re BAFE SP101-certified specialists.

We provide High Wycombe, Watford, Slough and the surrounding region with dedicated fire extinguisher supply, installation, commissioning and maintenance, helping you to protect your building and the people within, whatever the industry you operate in.

Call us on 01753 907 640 if you need fire extinguishers for your business!

Call today to book an appointment or use our contact form for more details.

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