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Choosing the right Fire Extinguisher

Fire & Security, Information
fire extinguisher maintenance

No single fire extinguisher is suitable for all types of fire.

For this reason, it is vital to understand what is the most likely ‘type’ of fire that you may have on your business premises because choosing the wrong type of fire extinguisher can actually be more dangerous than the fire itself.

Understanding the different types of fire

In the UK, fires are classed into group types with each fire class being assigned a letter and visual identification symbol to help users select the right type of extinguisher (the exception to this is Electrical Fires).

Class A Type Fires

Fires burning through solid fuel such as wood, plastic, paper and soft furnishings.

Class B Type Fires

Fire created from flammable liquids including petrol/oil and paraffin.

Class C Type Fires

Gas based fires such as propane, butane and methane.

Class D Type Fires

High heat fires involving burning metals such as magnesium.

Class F Type Fires

Traditionally kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats.

Electrical Type Fires

Electrical Fires are assigned their own class because in the event of an electrical fire, it is not the electricity that is burning but the components and surrounding materials that are burning having been set alight by the electricity.

Understanding the different types of Fire Extinguisher

There are multiple types of fire extinguisher available on the market.  Each one has a specific fire class that they can be used on.  In the UK, Fire Extinguishers are red to represent that they comply with current British Standards BS EN3.

Water based Fire Extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers should only be used on Class A Type Fires.  They should not be used on electrical fires or fires involving flammable liquids.

Foam based Fire Extinguishers

Can be used on both Class A and Class B Type Fires. Foam based Fire Extinguishers help to prevent fires from ignition.

CO2 based Fire Extinguishers

Used for Electrical Fires and Class B Type Fires created from flammable liquids including petrol/oil and paraffin.

Dry Powder based Fire Extinguishers

While not recommended for use indoors, Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers can be used on Class A, Class B, Class C and Electrical Type Fires.

Specialist Powder based Fire Extinguishers

Specialist fire extinguishers that are designed for metal fires and are ineffective for all other class types of fire.  Generally found in manufacturing facilities.

Wet Chemical based Fire Extinguishers

Commonly found in restaurants, kitchens and food production facilities that have cooking oils and fats.

Fire Extinguisher Survey

At HF Fire and Security, we can provide a complete Fire Extinguisher supply, installation and maintenance service.  To help you with understanding the legal requirements and what fire extinguishers are best for your business, we can offer a complete site survey that will allow us to understand the site layout of your premises and what type of fire extinguisher you need for the different types of fire and how many you need installed.

Our Fire Extinguisher Services covers:

  • Fire Extinguisher Servicing and Maintenance
  • Initial Fire Extinguisher Sales, Supply and Installation
  • Fire Extinguisher Refill and Recharging Service
  • Safety Signs
  • Fire Extinguisher Stands, Cabinets and Fitting Service
  • Fire Blankets

Find out more

To find out more about our range of Fire Extinguisher Services, Installing and Maintenance, please contact us today.

Our Fire & Security Services are backed up with NSI NACOSS Gold and NSI Fire Gold accreditation so that we can operate to the highest possible industry standard and guidelines across the UK. Combining this with in house knowledge and service level capabilities means that you can trust HF Fire & Security to take care of all your fire and security services throughout the year and throughout the country.

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