Fire Extinguishers: The Complete Guide

Fire Extinguishers: The Complete Guide


Every commercial and industrial space needs fire extinguishers to act as life-saving equipment, so let’s go over fire extinguishers: the complete guide. Most people don’t know that there are different types of extinguishers, ways to use them, and how to maintain them.

Fire extinguishers are one of the main safety features in every business. A fire may appear at any moment, leaving your business at risk. Evacuation procedures are essential, but you may need to put out a fire before it spreads and blocks building exits.

A fire extinguisher is more complex than you think. Inspections and proper maintenance must comply with regulations. You also need to know which type of extinguisher your business requires. The last thing you want is a fire to injure employees, destroy your property and lead to accidental death.

Fires start in the least expected places – at an electrical computer or after a routine in your kitchen. Businesses need a fire safety policy to handle and minimise fire risk correctly. 

Because there are different fire extinguishers to tackle various types of fires, you must be familiar with each type of fire extinguisher.  The wrong extinguisher may provoke  a fire that is more dangerous than it should be. 


Different Types of Fires

Each type of fire extinguisher is appropriate for different scenarios. You must know the fire types – specifically those classified into six categories with a corresponding fire extinguisher. 

  • Fires containing solid materials, such as wood, straw, paper or textiles.
  • Fires consist of flammable liquids, such as petrol, diesel or paint.
  • Fires including combustible gases, such as methane and propane.
  • Fires with flammable metals, such as magnesium and titanium.
  • Fires involving electrical equipment, such as computers and fuse boxes.
  • Fires that occur in a commercial kitchen involve cooking oils, such as deep fat fryers.


Fire Extinguisher Agents

If you know what type of fire you are dealing with, you can use the appropriate extinguisher agent to save lives in an emergency. The usage of an incorrect agent may reignite a successfully extinguished fire. 

According to Impact Fire Services, you need to decide what is suitable for your environment. Extinguishing agents vary and determine what fire extinguisher is correct for your specific application. 


ABC Dry Chemical

The ABC Dry Chemical is effective for fires that involve combustible materials, flammable liquid or gas, and energised electrical equipment. It is a standard extinguisher found in many environments and puts out fires by executing the fire’s chemical reaction. 


Carbon Dioxide (CO2)

Fire extinguishers that use pressurised carbon dioxide eliminate oxygen from fire and remove the element that causes fires to burn. Carbon dioxide extinguishers mainly accommodate fires involving flammable liquid or gas and energised electrical equipment. No clean is required when using a CO2 extinguisher. 

Wet Chemical

Cooking oils and grease fires require a wet chemical extinguisher because it consists of a new agent that removes heat from the fire and prevents re-ignition with a barrier between oxygen and fuel elements.

Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for modern and high-efficiency deep fat fryers used in a commercial cooking capacity.



A water extinguisher sprays water onto its fire and lowers the fire’s temperature. The mist of the water is perfect for fires containing combustible materials and is given the go-ahead to take on fires from energised electrical equipment.



The foam extinguisher creates a foam solution that grows when it comes in contact with air. The solution cools down fires and coats combustible materials and flammable liquid or gas. A barrier is created from oxygen, putting the fire out safely. 


Clean Agent Or Halogen

Clean agent extinguishers use gaseous fire suppression and reduce oxygen levels around fires, including flammable liquid or gas and energised electrical equipment while stopping the need for the fire to continue. The gaseous fire suppression doesn’t require cleaning up either. 


Dry Powder

Dry chemical extinguishers are specialised with powder that separates oxygen from the fuel in a fire. The dry powder in the extinguishers works perfectly on fires caused by combustible metal fires. Unfortunately, the dry powder extinguisher is not effective on any other type of fire.


How To Use An Extinguisher

Extinguishers are very simple to use. The steps to take are:

  • Pull out the safety pin.
  • Aim the hose at the base of the fire at a safe distance, as noted on the extinguisher.
  • Press down on the operating lever, and it discharges the fire extinguishing agent.
  • Wave the hose from side to side until the fire is out. As the fire diminishes, move around it and specifically check if reigniting occurs. 


Fire Extinguisher Consultancy

Before purchasing fire extinguishers, do your research first or speak to a consultant at a fire extinguisher company or a business that specialises in safety equipment. It is best to feel well-prepared for any fire. 


If there’s a fire in your home or the building you’re in, you can request help using the iER App! Our agents will assist with dispatching the fire brigade to you, ensuring that help arrives fast.


The iER App is 100% FREE to use on your smart device. There are no in-app purchases or adverts. iER uses your mobile internet connection to receive your alerts, chat with you, and update you with your alert status.

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