Types of Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are remarkably sophisticated items of fire fighting equipment, and each type has been specially designed to keep you safe from different types of fire. When it comes to tackling a fire in your office, school, workplace or home, make sure you have the right fire extinguisher to hand.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

Powder fire extinguishers are excellent all-round fire extinguishers. Powder fire extinguishers are painted red with a blue panel.

Halon Fire Extinguishers

Halon fire extinguishers are now illegal in the UK (due to their ozone-busting potential), except in aircraft, for military use and in the Channel Tunnel! Halon fire extinguishers are painted a distinctive green or red with a green panel.

Water Fire Extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers are filled with ordinary tap water. They are ideal for use on fires involving everyday materials such as paper, wood, fabric, furnishings, etc. Water fire extinguishers are solid red in colour.

Water with Additive (Hydrospray) Extinguishers

Water additive fire extinguishers, often referred to by a popular brand name of Hydrospray, are up to 300% times more effective than plain water extinguishers. Water additive fire extinguishers are painted solid red.

Foam Fire Extinguishers

Aqueous film forming foam fire extinguishers (AFFF) are very popular due to their all-round abilities. Foam fire extinguishers are red with a cream panel above the operating instructions.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Fire Extinguishers

Carbon dioxide or CO2 fire extinguishers are the only ones recommended for fires involving electrical equipment. Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are painted bright red with a black panel above the operating instructions, with a distinctive horn-shaped nozzle at the side or hose and horn on larger sizes.

Metal Fire Fire Extinguishers

A variety of specialist fire extinguishers are required to tackle Class D flammable metal fires All flammable metal fire specialist fire extinguishers are categorised as a powder extinguisher, so UK ones are painted red with a blue panel above the operating instructions.

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Wet chemical fire extinguishers were developed specifically for use on deep fat cooking fires. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are red with a yellow panel above the operating instructions.

Special MRI-safe extinguishers

MRI-safe fire extinguishers are designed with non-magnetic parts to protect these expensive and life-saving machines from damage in the event of a fire. Two non-magnetic types of extinguishers are available; a high specification CO2 fire extinguisher and a specialist water mist extinguisher.

Fire Extinguishers Using DuPont FE-36 (Hydrofluorocarbon-236fa or HFC-236fa)

US manufacturing giant DuPont created FE-36, or Hydrofluorocarbon-236fa (HFC-236fa) as a replacement for the banned Halon fire-extinguishing agent. It is a clean, non-toxic agent suitable for use on fires near expensive electrical equipment. In the UK this is most commonly seen in small automatic extinguishers.