"Your Local Independent Experts offering Services across the South of England"


Types of Fire Extinguishers

There are several types of fire extinguisher designed to tackle a variety of fire types.  In addition, they also come in different sizes.  The main types are; foam, dry powder, water, CO2.

Fire Extinguisher Types Explained


Water fire extinguishers are ideal for fighting "Class A" fires or solids involved in fire, these fires include paper, wood, plastics, and upholstery and more. Water extinguishers extinguish the fire by "cooling" the fire.


Foam fire extinguishers are designed to fight "Class A and B" fires. Class A Fires include solids such as paper, wood, plastics and upholstery. Class B fires are fire involving flammable liquids. Foam extinguishes Class A fires by cooling the fire and extinguishes Class B fires by creating a film forming blanket over the substance on fire, this starves the fire from oxygen allowing it to extinguish the fire. Water is also used to add a cooling element.  


Dry Powder fire extinguishers can be used as a multi type of fire extinguisher. It can be used to extinguish Class A, Class B, Class C and electrical fires. When operated the fire extinguisher releases a large amount of powder which allows the fire to quickly be knocked down and the powder smothers the fire. The disadvantage to this fire extinguisher is that dry powder doesn't have any cooling properties and could allow a fire to reignite, also this fire extinguisher can be very messy and is not recommended to be used in "confined" spaces.


Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are primarily used to tackle electrical fires, however than can be used on Class B fires as well. Carbon Dioxide extinguishes the fire by smothering the electrical item on fire.


Wet Chemical fire extinguishers are specifically designed to fight "Class F" fires, these include cooking Fats and Oils. Wet Chemical extinguishes a Class F fire by using a method called saponification (turning into a soap like liquid). Cooling is also used to help extinguish the fire.  

Share by: