What are the Types of Fire Extinguisher Available?
There are 5 main fire extinguisher types – Water, Foam, Dry Powder, CO2 and Wet Chemical.
To ensure you’re adequately protected, and you meet current fire safety regulations, you need to have the right types of fire extinguisher for your business premises.
There are different ‘classes’ of fire, for which each extinguisher is designed to tackle. These classes are based on which fuels a fire starts with. It’s the presence of these fuels within your business premises that will help determine which types of fire extinguisher you need and in which locations.
As well as the right type of fire extinguisher, you’ll also need the right size and weight of each extinguisher.
Which Fire Extinguisher is for which Type of Fire?
The following chart indicates the type of fire extinguisher suitable for each type of fire hazard.
(note to Tim – I’m going to redo this chart in BW branding so bear with me. Will send once it’s completed)
The Classes of Fire
There are six classes of fire in total.
- Class A fires – combustible materials: caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and textiles
- Class B fires – flammable liquids: such as petrol, paint or spirits
- Class C fires – flammable gases: like propane and butane
- Class D fires – flammable metals: chemicals such as magnesium, lithium or potassium
- Electrical fires – electrical equipment: such as computers and photocopiers. Note though that once the electrical item is removed, the fire changes class
- Class F fires – cooking oils: such as olive oil or butter. Typically a chip-pan fire
Fire Extinguisher Commissioning
Once installed, your fire extinguishers need to be commissioned by law. This means they’ve been thoroughly checked and approved as good for use.
Fire extinguishers are not compliant with UK fire extinguisher legislation until they have been commissioned, even if you have the right types and sizes of extinguisher in the right locations.
Commissioning means checking:
- the extinguishers have been installed properly
- hoses and horns are attached correctly
- cach extinguisher is the right weight and pressure
- they are completely undamaged
Once these checks have taken place by your BusinessWatch engineer, you will receive a certificate verifying that your extinguishers have been commissioned in accordance with UK regulations.