Fire Extinguisher Types and Colour Codes
Five of the most common fire extinguisher types are water, foam, CO2, powder and wet chemical.
Each of the different extinguisher are suitable for tackling different classes fo fire. It is important that you purchase the right fire extinguisher for your needs and that they are sited in the correct locations:
- Water – Class A fires (solid combustibles such as wood, paper and textiles). Some water extinguishers are safe on electrical equipment if di-electrically tested. Otherwise caution is required near electrical equipment, as ordinary water is a conductor.
- AFFF foam – Class A and B (flammable liquids). Safe on electrical equipment if di-electrically tested.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) – Class B and electrical equipment
- ABC powder – Class A, B, C (flammable gases) and electrical equipment
- Wet chemical – Class F (deep fat) fires, sometimes class A
Fire extinguishers meeting BS EN3 should have a red body (RAL 3000) and an agent-specific colour code band covering between 5-10% of the surface relating to the extinguisher’s contents. See the image below to see the different classes of fire each extinguisher is suitable for.