Types of fire extinguisher & their uses

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Types of Fire Extinguisher and their Uses Summary

The different classes of fire extinguisher rating are listed below together with the some of the most suitable types of fire extinguisher for use on each class of fire:

Class A - Suitable for paper, wood & textiles.
Type of fire extinguisher - Water, Foam, Dry Powder, Wet Chemical

Class B - Suitable for flammable liquids.
Type of fire extinguisher - Foam, Dry Powder, Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Class C - Suitable for flammable gasses.
Type of fire extinguisher - Dry Powder

Class F - Suitable for cooking oil and fat.
Type of fire extinguisher - Wet Chemical

Electrical Risk - Suitable for electrical equipment.
Type of fire extinguisher - Dry Powder, Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Fire Extinguisher Colour Coding or Colour Bands

Current fire extinguishers in the UK are subject to strict standards and that includes their colour coding or colour bands.

Fire extinguishers that meet the BS EN3 standard are manufactured with a red body and have a zone band of a second colour, covering up to 10% of the surface, that indicate the extinguisher’s contents. Each type of fire  extinguisher has a particular zone of colour making it easier for the user to identify the contents of the fire extinguisher.

Older fire extinguishers that pre-dated the current standard are still found. These extinguishers were in colours other than the now predominantly red colour required to conform to BS EN3 and may still be legal. However, if they need to be replaced because they are unserviceable or damaged, the new extinguisher needs to comply with the new requirements if it is to meet the BS EN3 standard.

Typical colour zones of current fire extinguishers in the UK and the key features of each are:

Water Fire Extinguisher 

  Types of Fire Extinguisher and their Uses Water Colour Zone - White

Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguisherand their Uses Dry Powder Colour Zone - Blue

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguisher and their Uses Carbon Dioxide CO2 Colour Zone - Black

Foam Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguisher and their Uses FoamColour Zone - Cream

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher

Types of Fire Extinguisher and their Uses Wet ChemicalColour Zone - Yellow

 

WATER

Class: A

  • A Class: Paper, wood & textiles.

FOAM SPRAY

Class: A & B

  • A Class: Paper, wood & textiles.
  • B Class: Flammable liquid such as oil & paints.

DRY POWDER
ABC MULTI-PURPOSE

Class: A, B, C & Live Electrical

  • A Class: Paper, wood & textiles.
  • B Class: Flammable liquid such as oil & paints.
  • C Class: Gaseous fires.
  • Live Electrical Fires

CARBON DIOXIDE

Class: A & Live Electrical Fires

  • B Class: Flammable liquid such as oil & paints.
  • Live Electrical Fires.

WET CHEMICAL

Class: A & F

  • A Class: Paper, wood & textiles.
  • F Class: Cooking oils & deep fat fires.

  FIRE BLANKET


  • Chip pan fires.
  • Waste bin fires.
  • Wrapping around someone whose clothes are burning.

Disclaimer: INFORMATION PROVIDED ON THIS WEBSITE IS NOT INTENDED TO BE TREATED AS PROFESSIONAL ADVICE AND SHOULD NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES BE USED AS A SUBSTITUTE FOR PROFESSIONAL ADVICE. ALWAYS CONSULT A FIRE PROFESSIONAL FOR ADVICE ON YOUR PARTICULAR CIRCUMSTANCES AND REQUIREMENTS.

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