5 Types of Fire Extinguisher And Use

By | July 28, 2023
Types of Fire Extinguisher And Use
Types of Fire Extinguisher And Use

5 Types of fire extinguisher and use shall be explained in this article as per the classification of fires. So, The selection of appropriate types of fire extinguishers is very crucial. Here is a perfect guide on selecting the appropriate type of fire extinguisher and their uses according to the scenario, including colour coding and fire classes.

Definition of Fire Extinguisher

A fire extinguisher is fire fighting equipment used to extinguish a fire in the event of a fire incident. According to the classification of fire, there are 5-types of fire extinguishers, such as water fire extinguishers, foam fire extinguishers, dry powder fire extinguishers, carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers, and wet chemical fire extinguishers.

5 Types of Fire Extinguisher And Use

There is no single fire extinguisher that can be used to tackle all classes of fire. That’s why each fire extinguisher has been made for different categories of fire on which it will work effectively. For example, a water fire extinguisher is made for class-A fire (solid). That’s why it will work effectively for class-A fire only. This fire extinguisher shall not be used for other classes of fire because it will not work effectively, and there could be adverse reactions causing the worst conditions. Especially do not use a water fire extinguisher in a fire involving electrical equipment because it can cause electrocution. Always select the fire extinguisher wisely.

5 Types of fire extinguisher and use

  • Water fire extinguisher.
  • Foam fire extinguisher.
  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher.
  • Dry powder fire extinguisher.
  • Wet chemical fire extinguisher.

1. Water-Fire Extinguishers (Red Label)

Water Fire Extinguisher
Water Fire Extinguisher

Water fire extinguishers can be used only for class-A fires. So, water fire extinguishers can be utilized for fires caused by papers, solid plastics, textiles, wood, coal, rubber, and cartoons. Water fire extinguishers spray the water through their nozzle, which helps to cover larger areas of fires. Water fire extinguishers are simple to maintain and least hazardous because they only contain water. A water fire extinguisher extinguishes the fire by cooling the fire and burning materials with water.

Label Colour RED

Use for – Organic materials, such as paper, solid plastic, cartoon, wood, rubber, and textiles.

Do not use for – Fires involving electric equipment, kitchen fires, flammable gas, and liquid.

2. Foam Fire Extinguishers (Cream Label)

Foam Fire Extinguisher
Foam Fire Extinguisher

The foam fire extinguishers are suitable for classes A & B fires. So, foam fire extinguishers can be utilized on solid fires (Fires involve papers, solid plastics, textiles, wood, coal, rubber, and cartoons) and liquid fires (Fires involve fuels, solvents, paints, thinner, etc.).

Foam fire extinguisher extinguishes the fire by smothering, such as building up foam on the surface of burning liquid and solid items. In this practice, oxygen will be cut out from fires, which will help to extinguish the fire caused by solid and liquid combustible materials.

Label ColourCREAM

Use For – Organic materials, such as paper, solid plastic, cartoon, wood, rubber, and textiles. And flammable liquids such as paint, thinner, petrol, solvents, etc.

Do Not Use For – Fire involving electric equipment, flammable metals, and kitchen fires.

3. Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers (Blue Label)

Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher

What is Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher

Dry powder fire extinguishers are fire fighting equipment that works effectively to extinguish the fires of class A, B,& C (solids, liquids, and gases). Dry powder fire extinguishers put out fires by making a thin layer of powder on the surface of burning objects. This separates the burning materials from the oxygen in the air, which immensely helps to extinguish the fires.

There are some disadvantages of dry powder fire extinguishers, such as it doesn’t soak into materials and doesn’t have a proper cooling effect on the fires, which might result in fire reigniting. The powder used in dry powder fire extinguishers is hazardous if inhaled, so always make sure the application of dry powder fire extinguishers is in well-ventilated areas. And because of this, dry powder fire extinguishers are not perfect for domestic and office premises.

Label ColourBLUE

Use For – Organic materials, such as paper, solid plastic, cartoon, wood, rubber, and textiles. And flammable liquids such as paint, thinner, petrol, solvents, etc.

Flammable liquids, such as paint, thinner, petrol, solvents, etc.

Liquid petroleum gas, such as LPG and acetylene.

Do Not Use For – Fires involving electric equipment over 1000V and fires involving cooking oil.

4. Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguishers (Black Label)

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguisher
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguisher

Carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers contain only pressurized carbon dioxide gas, and that’s why does not leave a residue. It is marked with a black label for identification purposes. A carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguisher is suitable to use on fires involving liquids and electrical fires. CO2 fire extinguishers extinguish the fires by suffocating them, and it doesn’t cause damage to electrical items as well. The CO2 fire extinguishers are not designed for use inside a confined space because they can replace oxygen and cause suffocation. Moreover, it gets cold during discharge, which can cause finger frostbite if proper PPE is not worn.

Label ColourBLACK

Use For – Fires involving flammable liquids, such as paint, thinner, petrol, solvents, etc. And electrical fires.

Do Not Use For – Organic fires, such as paper, solid plastic, cartoon, wood, textiles, etc.

Kitchen fires and fires involving flammable metals.

5. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers (Yellow Label)

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguisher

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are highly effective and suitable for class F fires (including fats and cooking oils). They can also be used on class A fires, and some can be used on class B fires. And they are mainly used in the kitchen. They consist of pressurized alkali salts in water. When you operate the wet chemical fire extinguishers, discharged chemicals put out the flames, cool the burning oils, and seal the surface to prevent re-ignition by creating a fine mist.

Label ColourYELLOW

Use For – Fires involving cooking oils and fat fires.

Do Not Use For – Fires involving flammable liquids, gas, metals, and electrical fires.

Conclusion

All 5- types of fire extinguisher and use have been illustrated in this post that must be known by fire extinguishers users. All types of fire extinguishers can not be used for all categories of fires because they have been designed for different-different classes of fires. Selection of fire extinguishers must be done wisely to ensure the use of fire extinguishers suitable for the categories of fires. This will help to extinguish the fires effectively without any further issues.

Q1. What is The Definition of Fire Extinguisher?

Ans. A fire extinguisher is a fire fighting equipment used to extinguish the fire in the event of fire incidents.

Q2. What Are The Types of Fire Extinguishers?

Ans. There are 5-types of fire extinguishers, such as water fire extinguishers, foam fire extinguishers, dry powder fire extinguishers, carbon dioxide (CO2) fire extinguishers, and wet chemical fire extinguishers.

Q3. What is Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher?

Ans. Dry powder fire extinguishers are fire fighting equipment that works effectively to extinguish the fires of class A, B,& C (solids, liquids, and gases). Dry powder fire extinguishers put out fires by making a thin layer of powder on the surface of burning objects.

Q4. Which Gas is Used in Fire Extinguisher?

Ans. Carbon dioxide (CO2) gas is used in fire extinguishers because it is not combustible and doesn’t support burning.

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