What are the types of fire extinguishers?

Many people are confused about what are the types of fire extinguishers? This is not a trivial matter, especially when you realise that fire safety at every workplace in New Zealand is a legal requirement.

You cannot have just any type of fire extinguisher and think that your place is fire safe and that you are free from any safety obligations.

Fire extinguishers are crucial fire fighting equipment that can immediately be used in a fire emergency when every second counts. If you have the wrong type of fire extinguisher, you could not only miss your chance to stop the fire from spreading but actually make the fire worse.

The dangers of a fire, especially in confined spaces and enclosed areas, cannot be overestimated.

The different types of fires

The added danger of a fire is that you don’t have time to ask yourself what type of fire you are dealing with and whether you have the correct fire extinguisher for that fire.

There are different fire risks that come from the different classes of fire. There is no one-size-fits-all approach for fires. These different factors can come into play throughout the different areas of a workplace and in each work environment.

To determine which fire extinguisher types you may need, it pays to see fire safety professionals that you can trust.

As well as determining which types of fire extinguishers are needed, they will also work out the right size and weight of fire extinguishers.

You can see why it is crucial to have the level of expertise to call on when you want to ensure that your workplace is fire safe.

Why there are different extinguishers

You may be wondering what are the types of fire extinguishers and why?

The reason there are different fire extinguishers is that they are used to put out different types of fires.

A fire can break out without warning and from different types of fuel. The specific fire risks from the different classes of fire determine which extinguisher type is needed.

There are 5 main fire extinguisher types which include two variations of Dry Powder fire extinguishers.

The main types of fire extinguishers have very different uses. They are as follows:

  • Dry Powder – The white-banded, ABE dry powder extinguishers are for use in all fires except those involving cooking oils and fats.
  • Carbon Dioxide or CO2 extinguishers are black colour banded extinguishers that are suitable for use in the case of a fire that is close to or involves electrical equipment.
  • Foam extinguishers have a blue band and are the most common and the simplest to use. These are used for fires involving any flammable liquids.
  • Wet Chemical extinguishers are identified with a cream-coloured band and can be used on burning paper, fabric, wood and furniture but are also suitable for fires from cooking oil and fats. These should not be used on or near live electrical equipment.
  • Water extinguishers have NO colour bands. They cannot be used on any flammable or combustible liquids (e.g. petrol) or on cooking oils or fats. They are safe for use on free-burning paper, fabric, wood and furniture.

Using the wrong fire extinguisher (and its incorrect chemical agent) can even lead to a fire re-igniting despite it looking as if it has been properly put out. In the case of using a water extinguisher, it can actually spread the liquid ignited fire and make matters worse.

Getting help from trusted fire safety professionals

It makes sense to get expert advice on the different types of extinguishers.

With experts in fire safety, you won’t have to wonder what are the types of fire extinguishers and which ones you need.

It’s important to remember that without the right types of fire extinguishers in place, you may not meet the latest fire safety regulations and be liable for heavy penalties.

A fire safety team can explain the different fire extinguisher types and uses, advise you where they should be positioned throughout the premises, and identify fire safety risks to prevent a fire in the first place.

The other matter that is too often overlooked is the testing and maintenance of fire extinguishers and other fire equipment such as fire hose reels and fire blankets.

Refilling a fire extinguisher needs to be done with the utmost care. If the extinguisher is not properly cleaned out, the remains of the old chemical will interfere with the new agent and could impede its ability to extinguish the fire being fought.

Who can you trust with all your fire safety needs?

What are the types of fire extinguishers?Jim’s Fire Safety is your trusted team of professionals

You can stay fire safe with help from the experts at Jim’s Fire Safety.

Our technicians are highly trained and experienced. You get a team that has earned the reputation for providing the best fire safety services throughout New Zealand.

Jim’s Fire Safety technicians are always up to date with the latest fire safety regulations. By offering the trademark of service excellence, you can be sure the fire safety equipment in your workplace is all in order and ready to go in an emergency.

Get the best in fire safety and protection from Jim’s Fire Safety.

Call our friendly team today, or fill in the online form for a free quote.