There are a number of different types of fire extinguishers that can be used to fight different kinds of fires and it’s vital you know them all. Fire extinguisher types include:
1. Water Fire Extinguishers
2. Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
3. Foam Fire Extinguishers, and
4. CO2 Fire Extinguishers
Different kinds of fires will require a different extinguisher. Such fires include:
Class A fires (solid objects like paper, plastic, wood etc)
Class B fires (flammable liquids including oil, paraffin, petrol etc)
Class C fires (flammable gases like butane, methane, propane etc)
Class D fires (metals including titanium, magnesium, aluminium etc)
Class E fires (electrical apparatus)
Class F fires (cooking fats and oils etc)
Water Fire Extinguishers are the most common form of fire extinguisher, which are helpful for Class A fires, but should not be used for electrical or Class B fires. Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers can be used on fires in classes A, B and C. Often referred to as “multi-purpose fire extinguishers” for this reason, Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers need to be used carefully indoors, as powder can cause damage to machinery and goods and even obscure vision due to its messy nature.
Foam Fire Extinguishers are not as cheap as the more common Water Fire Extinguishers, but show a good deal more versatility, able to be used for both Class A and B fires. While not recommended for electrical fires, they are also safer if accidentally used on live apparatus than Water Fire Extinguishers. CO2 Fire Extinguishers are the type recommended for electrical fires and also work on Class B. Classes D and F require specialist extinguishers.
Therefore Powder Fire Extinguishers can be the best option for everyday use.