Fire extinguishers are your first line of defence against small fires. In a commercial environment, you are obligated to have fire protection equipment both installed and maintained within your building. At Jim’s Fire Safety, we offer fire extinguisher testing services to businesses around New Zealand.

After you’ve supplied your employees with adequate fire protection, it is important to make sure they can use it effectively in an emergency. The first step is making sure you are using the right type of fire extinguisher for each type of fire.

What are the types of fire extinguisher? We discuss each variation in our latest blog. Read on, and let us know if you have any more questions about fire extinguishers.


There are a range of different fire extinguishing agents that are designed to smother different classes of fire. The classes of fire as as follows:

• Class A (Wood paper plastics)

• Class B (Flammable & combustible liquids)

• Class C (Flammable gases)

• Class D (Fires involving combustible metals)

• Class E (Electrically energised equipment)

• Class F (Cooking oils and fats)

For each class of fire, there is a corresponding fire extinguisher. Some are suitable for multiple classes of fire, and others have only one recommended use. What are the types of fire extinguisher? Take a look at the following list of common extinguishing agents found in New Zealand:

• Water

• Foam

• Wet chemical

• Dry powder

• Carbon dioxide

The fire extinguisher use will correspond to a coloured band on the side of your device. This band will let you know which fire extinguisher to use.

  • White: Contains dry powder – multi-use extinguisher can be used on most fires depending on your model. 
  • Black: Contains C02 – for use on electrical fires, fuel, and flammable liquids.
  • Oatmeal: Contains wet chemical – for use on cooking oils and fats.
  • Blue: Contains foam – for use on flammable and combustable liquids.
  • Red: Contains water – for use on paper, timber, and textile fires.

If you’re not sure which fire extinguisher to choose for you business, you should contact Jim’s Fire Safety today. We supply and install fire protection equipment for a range of different businesses.

Before you contact us, there are a couple of things you can consider. What type of materials do you use on your property? For instance, if you do not have cooking fats and oils in use, you may not need a whet chemical extinguisher. What is your working environment? An office might require a C02 extinguisher for electrical fires when a garage might benefit best from a foam extinguisher. Consult with our team and we can make a recommendation.


What are the types of fire extinguisher? Now you know! At Jim’s Fire Safety, we’re covering our frequently asked questions in a series of blog posts. Make sure you get in touch with us to have your FAQ answered!

Do you own or operated a business? Make sure it is as safe as possible with our diligent fire safety team. We test and inspect fire extinguishers, hose reels, blankets, electric blankets, RCDs, and general electrical safety testing. Get in touch with us now to make sure your business is safe.

Get a free quote now!