Which Fire Extinguisher to use for Which Class of Fire?


Fire extinguishers save lives. In the moments at the beginning of a fire, every second counts. A fire extinguisher that is conveniently accessible and used by trained personnel can quickly eliminate the fire threat, minimising damage to property and reducing or eliminating harm to people in the area. 

At first some people may believe that all fire extinguishers are the same and can be used for all types of fires. Actually there are specific types of fire extinguishers that should be placed in a facility based on the type of fire risk. Some fire extinguishers may not be effective for certain types of fires. It is important to know the distinction between the various classes of fire extinguishers.

  • Class A fire extinguishers are the most common and can be used to put out ordinary fires from items such as paper or wood.
  • Class B and C extinguishers are designed to attack liquids that are flammable including grease, oil, petrol and other types of liquids that can ignite.
  • Class D fire devices specifically fight fires from metals or metallic compounds.
  • Class E fire extinguishers can be used on electrical fires caused from wires, electrical connections, plugs or other areas where an electrical spark can occur.
  • Class F extinguishers specifically work to extinguish oils and fats used in cooking and are ideally designed to work in large kitchens or industrial cooking areas.
For certain situations you should consider having specific fire extinguishers on hand. Marine vessels such as boats or personal watercraft should have a class E extinguisher available as well as a class A. Other fire extinguishers might be needed as well depending on the size and purpose of the vessel.
Automotive vehicles including transport trucks or passenger autos should have a class B or class A fire extinguisher readily available to put out engine fires caused by petrol or oil.

To determine what types of fire extinguishers would be suited for your specific situation, consider having a fire risk assessment performed. This evaluation will determine how many fire extinguishers are needed and the types of fire extinguishers that would best mitigate any risk of fire. The fire risk assessment will not only help you to determine the fire extinguishers needed but it will also help you to be compliant with Australian standards regulations. Once you have completed a fire risk assessment you can then purchase and install the safety equipment that would be appropriate.

Fire Safe Services can provide a comprehensive fire risk assessment plus recommend the best fire extinguishers adelaide to keep your facility or equipment safe. The trained staff at Fire Safe Services can guide you to be compliant while also keeping your property and personnel safe.

Fire Extinguisher Selection Guide