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Types of Fire Extinguisher

Class of Fire

Fires are divided into five main types, depending on the nature of the fuel involved:

Before this classification system, there was a classification of electrical fires, but since electricity itself is a cause of fire, these types of fires have been incorporated into the main classes. Once you have turned off the electricity the fire becomes the same as any other.  The table shows, at a glance, the types of extinguisher suitable each class. There's more detail below too.

Which Extinguisher?

Class A

Class B

Class B

Class C

Class C

Class D

Class D

Electrical

Electrical

Class F

Class F

Lithium
Applications   >>> Wood, Paper, Plastic Flammable Liquids; Petrol, Oil, etc. Flammable Gases; Propane, Butane, etc. Metals, Magnesium, Swarf Electrics, Computers, etc. Cooking Oil & Fats Lithium (Batteries etc.)

AFF FOAM

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Use this Type Use this Type          

 WATER

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Use this Type            

WET CHEMICAL

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Use this Type         Use this Type  

WATER ADDITIVE

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Use this Type      

Use this Type

Not directly on these fires

   

CARBON DIOXIDE

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  Use this Type     Use this Type    

ABC POWDER

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Use this Type Use this Type Use this Type   Use this Type    

BC POWDER

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  Use this Type Use this Type        

D POWDER

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      Use this Type      

L2 POWDER

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      Use this Type     Use this Type

Automatic Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Automatic Fire Extinguishers are suitable for heavy agricultural machinery, construction and mining equipment, boat engines, and other heavy machinery. Automatic Extinguishers are the way to tackle these fires before it's too late.

Automatic Fire Extinguishers work through the use of a heat-sensitive glass bulb. This glass bulb contains a liquid that expands when heated, and between 68-79 degrees centigrade the bulb will burst causing the extinguisher to automatically release the extinguishant.

The Powder Automatic Extinguishers are the most popular form of Automatic Extinguisher because it can fight any type of fire and costs less than a gas type Automatic Extinguisher.

Chrome Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Chrome Fire Extinguishers are very stylish, sleek and elegant, and are aesthetically pleasing. They often look good in sleek, modern, elegant offices and shops as a pose to a traditional 'chunky' red fire extinguisher.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers and their uses

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Fire Extinguishers are the most common type of Fire Extinguisher and are the only Fire Extinguishers that are perfect for use in case of electrical fires.

CO2's come in 2 standard sizes, 2kg and 5kg and can also be used in cases of flammable liquid fires. CO2 Extinguishers are usually made from aluminium bodies as the gas inside needs to be kept at a very high pressure, and steel is often very heavy, so the aluminium keeps the Extinguisher relatively light.

CO2 Extinguishers are used for Class B fires, including- petrol fires, diesel fires, and oil fires etc. CO2's can also be used in cases of electrical fires including- computer fires, disco equipment fires, and electrical machinery fires etc. Usually Water, Foam and Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers are recommended to accompany the CO2 Extinguisher to cover all fire types.

A suitable wall bracket comes with every CO2 Extinguisher- however these extinguishers are more aesthetically pleasing when presented on a stand, plinth or as a chrome extinguisher on a chrome tubular stand.

To comply with fire safety regulations, a fire extinguisher sign should be placed on the wall surrounding the extinguisher. Fire Training is also recommended for allocated members of staff, so that in the case of a fire the trained individuals will know how to behave in the situation of a fire. Firesafetysupplier.com also recommends annual servicing of this fire extinguisher to be in-keeping with fire safety regulations.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers are suitable for virtually all fire risks, as the cover all Class A (wood, paper, material, cloth etc), Class B (flammable liquids), and Class C (flammable gas) fires. Dry Powder Extinguishers can also be used on electrical fires too.

In terms of domestic use, a small dry powder fire extinguisher can be effective for small fires- look in 'Discount Range' Category. However, see the note about indoor use below.

Dry Powder extinguishers are easily identified as they are usually marked with a large blue label near the nozzle.

A suitable wall bracket comes with every Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher- however these extinguishers are more aesthetically pleasing when presented on a stand, plinth or as a chrome extinguisher on a chrome tubular stand.

To comply with fire safety regulations, a fire extinguisher sign should be placed on the wall surrounding the extinguisher. Fire Training is also recommended for allocated members of staff, so that in the case of a fire the trained individuals will know how to behave in the situation of a fire. (Discharging a powder extinguisher within buildings can cause a sudden reduction of visibility and can also impair breathing, which could temporarily jeopardize escape, rescue or other emergency action. For this reason, powder extinguishers should generally not be specified for use indoors, unless mitigated by a health and safety risk assessment.)

Firesafetysupplier.com also recommends annual servicing of this fire extinguisher to be in-keeping with fire safety regulations.

Foam (AFFF) Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Foam Fire Extinguishers have become one of the most popular form of extinguisher in the last 15-20 years. Foam Fire Extinguishers are suitable for both Class A Fires (wood fires, paper fires, material fires, cloth fires etc.), and Class B Fires (flammable liquids).

All Foam Extinguishers are fitted with a special nozzle that reduces electrical health and safety risks. Foam Extinguishers should NEVER be used on electrical fires.

A suitable wall bracket comes with every Foam Extinguisher- however these extinguishers are more aesthetically pleasing when presented on a stand, plinth or as a chrome extinguisher on a chrome tubular stand.

To comply with fire safety regulations, a fire extinguisher sign should be placed on the wall surrounding the extinguisher. Fire Training is also recommended for allocated members of staff, so that in the case of a fire the trained individuals will know how to behave in the situation of a fire. Firesafetysupplier.com also recommends annual servicing of this fire extinguisher to be in-keeping with fire safety regulations.

Small Fire Extinguishers/ 'Discount Range' and their uses

1kg Powder Fire Extinguishers will extinguish the most common forms of fire relating to cars, caravans and boats. These small extinguishers are the first line of defence against towards fighting this form of fire, and are safe to use around electrical equipment.

Larger trucks, vans and cars should also carry an extinguisher, although it should be a larger extinguisher, a 2kg Dry Powder, or 2 Litre Foam Extinguisher for example. However, these extinguishers can NOT be used around electrical equipment.

Specialised Fire Extinguishers and their uses

M28 Powder Extinguishers are the best extinguishers for tackling metal fires involving sodium, aluminium or magnesium. However, the M28 Powder Extinguisher can NOT be used on Lithium Fires.

L2 Powder Extinguishers are for particular use on Lithium Fires, however the L2 Powder Extinguisher can also be used on all metal fires if required.

Both M28 and L2 Powder Extinguishers come in 9kg Extinguishers and can be operated in temperatures ranging from -20 degrees centigrade to 60 degrees centigrade.

Water Fire Extinguishers and their uses

A CO2 Fire Extinguisher accompanies most Water Fire Extinguishers, as a Water Fire Extinguisher can only be used on Class A Fires (wood, paper, material, cloth etc.). However, most shops or offices will have furniture that includes these materials, and therefore a Water Fire Extinguisher is often suitable.

Recently, Water Fire Extinguishers have been supplemented by additives- this makes the Water Extinguishers more effective and smaller.

A suitable wall bracket comes with every Water Extinguisher- however these extinguishers are more aesthetically pleasing when presented on a stand, plinth or as a chrome extinguisher on a chrome tubular stand.

To comply with fire safety regulations, a fire extinguisher sign should be placed on the wall surrounding the extinguisher. Fire Training is also recommended for allocated members of staff, so that in the case of a fire the trained individuals will know how to behave in the situation of a fire. Firesafetysupplier.com also recommends annual servicing of this fire extinguisher to be in keeping with fire safety regulations.

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Wet Chemicals are mainly used to fight fires related to kitchen equipment, and deep fat fryer fires. This is something that only a wet chemical extinguisher is suitable for, all other extinguishers cannot be used in the case of kitchen fires.

The foam within the extinguisher cover the fire and smothers it, this is to stop the re-ignition of the fire. The long lance applicator allows the person to stand well clear of the fire and gently apply the foam to the fire, and stop the fire from continuing.

It is often recommended that a CO2 Fire Extinguisher, and a Large Fire Blanket accompany the Wet Chemical Extinguisher, as this will contribute to the fire safety procedures relevant to the kitchen. It is also important to display a relevant identification sign alongside the Wet Chemical Extinguisher.

Wheeled Extinguishers and their uses

All of our wheeled extinguishers are mounted on sturdy trolleys and can be manoeuvered easily by just one person, but can still provide up to 100 litres of content. These wheeled units are ideal for large warehouses, and marine and offshore.

Wheeled Foam Extinguishers come with either stored pressure or with an external pressure charge. These wheeled units have a long life, and come with around 50-100 litre capacities.

A wheeled CO2 Fire Extinguisher causes very little mess and leaves little residue- unlike foam or powder extinguishers. These CO2 units are powerful and accurate when dealing with Class B Fires, and Fires involving electrical equipment. These CO2 wheeled units are available in various sizes so the correct capacity can be chosen easily.

Wheeled Powder Extinguishers are suitable for both Class A and Class B Fires - and are particularly suited to workplaces involving flammable liquids (paints, solvents and fuels etc). These extinguishers can be kept in both warm and cold conditions and can even work between 30-60 degrees centigrade.