How to Clean up After a Foam Fire Extinguisher

No one wants to have to use a fire extinguisher, primarily because a) it means there has been a fire, and b) it’s your job to put it out. However, if you’re reading this article, the chances are you’ve successfully doused the fire in question, and now you’re looking for tips on how to clean up safely and efficiently. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.

So, this month, the team at Cheshire Fire will be offering some advice on how to clean up after a foam fire extinguisher.

What is a foam fire extinguisher?


Before we show you how to clean up after a foam fire extinguisher, we feel it’s necessary to quickly give an explanation of what they are, and what sort of fires they were designed to fight. If you’re in a bit of a hurry though, just skip to the next section.

A foam fire extinguisher will have a red body with a cream band wrapped around the top of the tank. This is not to be confused with water mist extinguishers which feature a white band, and wet chemical extinguisher which feature a yellow one. That said, with respect to wet chemical extinguishers, it’s highly unlikely that you will find one of these and a foam fire extinguisher in the same place.

Foam fire extinguishers are capable of fighting the following types of fire: 1) Class A fires (those which are caused by ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, paper or plastic). 2) Class B fires (those which are caused by flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel and spirits).


How to safely clean up after using a foam fire extinguisher


  • Wear protective gear: since the foam from these fire extinguishers is known to be carcinogenic, it’s extremely important that you wear the proper protective gear. This means finding a good pair of protective goggles, as well as a pair of impermeable protective gloves before starting.
  • Use paper towels: to start the process, soak up the foam residue using paper towels or any other absorbent, disposable material you can find. This is simply to clear the area before you begin cleaning it properly.
  • Use water to clean the area: once the area is clear of any foam residue, you can proceed to clean the affected area with water until it’s completely clean. It’s important to be thorough at this stage, since you don’t want any carcinogenic residue to become a permanent fixture.


  • Dispose of any cleaning materials: at this stage, once the area is clean, simply take the paper towels and seal them in a plastic bag. Once finished, you can simply throw them away.


At Cheshire Fire, we offer a range of services to ensure your business meets all fire safety regulations, including fire risk assessments and safety check on fire extinguishers and fire detection devices in a variety of business fields. For more information on our services, contact Cheshire Fire today.