Fully comprehensive fire extinguisher guide

Cheshire Fire recognise the importance of having safety precautions readily available in your home. Although many homeowners take care of their home, many fail to have basic fire safe guards in case a fire starts within the home. There are over 60,000 house fires in the UK every year, with over 300 fatalities. This only goes to highlight the importance of installing preventative measures in your home.

There are 6 classes of fire, all which need different equipment to extinguish them. By knowing which fires you are most at risk at, you can buy the correct fire extinguisher for your needs.

  1. Class A – fires involving solid/organic materials like wood, paper, and fabrics.
  2. Class B – fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol and oils.
  3. Class C – fires involving flammable gases.
  4. Class D – fires involving metals.
  5. Class E – fires involving an electrical origin.
  6. Class F – fires involving cooking oils like deep fat fryers.

Here are the different fire extinguishers available:

Water – Red Label

Water fire extinguishers have a class A rating and are perfect for drowning out a fire which has started on soft or hard furnishing, such as carpets or wooden furniture. Water fire extinguishers must not be used on any electrical equipment, as water is a conductor of electricity and can therefore shoot through the water, causing an electric shock – which can result in death. Furthermore, using water on oil fires will only escalate the fire further, causing more damage and or even a higher risk of death.

AFFF Foam – Cream Label

Effective on both class A and B fires, the foam can be used to extinguish organic materials such as paper, fabrics, and burning liquids like petrol. It works by creating a barrier between the flame and the object. It can be used on electrical fires under 1000V, however any more voltage and it becomes unsafe.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Black Label

Predominantly used for electrical fires and therefore predominantly used for computer server rooms – they can also put out class B fires. It works by suffocating the fire, as fires need oxygen to burn. It is not to be used on oil fires or soft furnishings, as it may not be able to displace enough oxygen to put of the fire.

ABC Powder/Dry Powder – Blue Label

Often called ABC Powder because it can extinguish class A, B, and C fires. Not recommended for enclosed spaces due to the dangers of inhaling the powder. Ideally used for flammable liquids and gases, organic materials, and electrical fires under 1000V. Do not use for fires involving cooking oils/fats, as this can be ineffective.

Wet Chemical – Yellow Label

Designed for use on class F fires which involve cooking fats/oils. Ideal for commercial kitchens and canteens, including any place which may have a fat fryers or use oils. They work by giving the fire a cooling effect and preventing oxygen from accelerating the fire further.

Cheshire Fire is dedicated to serving the community and bringing awareness to fire risks and prevention. For more information on fire safety, or to find out about the fire extinguishers we have in stock, contact us today!