What Are the 4 Types of Fire Extinguishers?

Fire extinguishers are our trusty allies when it comes to tackling small fires before they turn into raging infernos. But do you know the differences between the 4 main types of fire extinguishers?


In this blog post, we’ll take you on a journey to explore the 4 primary types of fire extinguishers and the unique fires they can conquer. From understanding their colour-coded labels to discovering their suitable environments, we’ve got all the firefighting knowledge you need to be a safety superhero!


1) Water Fire Extinguishers – The Classic Hero


Water fire extinguishers are the stalwart heroes of the firefighting world. Recognizable by their vibrant red colour, they are effective at putting out Class A fires, which involve ordinary combustibles like wood, paper, and cloth. 


The water acts as a cooling agent, extinguishing the fire by reducing the heat. However, they should never be used on electrical fires or flammable liquids, as water can conduct electricity or spread the flames further.


2) Foam Fire Extinguishers – The Versatile Vigilante


Foam fire extinguishers, often clad in cream or white, are the multitaskers of the firefighting league. They can tackle Class A fires like wood and paper, just like water extinguishers, but they also pack a punch against Class B fires involving flammable liquids like petrol, diesel, or oils. 


The foam creates a blanket effect, smothering the flames and cutting off the oxygen supply. Remember, though, they’re not suited for electrical fires, so keep them away from live wires!


3) CO2 Fire Extinguishers – The Electrical Specialist


When it comes to tackling electrical fires or Class B fires involving flammable liquids, CO2 fire extinguishers are the electrical specialists you need. Dressed in a striking black, they discharge carbon dioxide gas that displaces oxygen, effectively suffocating the fire. 


These extinguishers are perfect for spaces with electrical equipment like offices, computer rooms, and kitchens. However, be cautious when using CO2 extinguishers in confined spaces, as they can displace the air you need to breathe.


4) Powder Fire Extinguishers – The All-Rounder Avenger


Powder fire extinguishers are the true all-rounders, ready to take on a variety of fires. Coloured blue with a dash of white, these superheroes can tackle Class A, B, and C fires, involving flammable gases. They are also effective against electrical fires, making them a popular choice for vehicles and marine applications. 


While they can tackle all kinds of fires, it’s important to note that the powder can create a temporary loss of visibility and may not be suitable for use in enclosed spaces.


The Bottom Line


Now that you know the fantastic 4 primary types of fire extinguishers, you’ll be ready to tackle any fire emergency that comes your way. From the classic water extinguishers to the versatile foam extinguishers, the electrical specialists CO2 extinguishers, and the all-rounders powder extinguishers, each type plays a unique role in firefighting. 


Just remember to always choose the right extinguisher for the specific fire type and follow the PASS technique (Pull, Aim, Squeeze, and Sweep) when using one. Now, armed with this knowledge, be sure to stay safe and protect what matters most!


Are your fire extinguishers in need of inspection? If so, we’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with Fire-Alert, and take advantage of our mobile fire extinguisher services today.