A guide to fire extinguishers




Even if you have received fire safety training before, it is always helpful to be reminded of the different fire extinguishers or fire safety equipment that should be used to tackle different kinds of fire. In this guide, we set out what equipment to use for which fire and also set out a simple fire safety checklist to go over to ensure your premises are as safe as possible.


Fires are divided into the following classes. In the event of a fire it’s important to consider what is burning and whether solids, liquids, gases, oils or live electricity could be involved.




A table setting out the different kinds of fire extinguishers and types of fire they can be used for



  • Class A – fires involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.

  • Class B – fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils.

  • Class C – fires involving gases.

  • Class D – fires involving metals..

  • Class F – fires involving cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers.

  • Electrical – fires involving live electrical apparatus

Below is a list of the different kinds of extinguishers. Fire extinguisher colours can quickly help you to identify what kind they are and what sort of fire they can be used to tackle.

Water – for use on wood, paper, textiles and other carbonaceous materials. All water extinguishers have a red label.

Can be used on the following class of fires: A

Foam – for use on wood, paper, textiles and other carbonaceous materials as well as flammable liquids, petrol and spirits. Foam extinguishers have a cream label.

Can be used on the following class of fires: A, B

Dry Powder – for use on wood, paper, textiles and other carbonaceous materials. Flammable liquids, petrol and spirits. Flammable gasses (for example propane and butane). Powder extinguishers have a blue label.

Can be used on the following class of fires: A, B, C, E

Fires caused by electrical equipment where electric current may be present.

M28/ L2 Dry Powder – for use on fires involving burning metals. Can be used on the following class of fires: D

CO2 Gas – for use on flammable liquids, petrol and spirits. Fires caused by electrical equipment where electric current may be present. Carbon Dioxide Extinguishers (CO2) have a black label.

Can be used on the following class of fires: B, E

Wet Chemical – for use on wood, paper, textiles and other carbonaceous materials. Cooking oil and fat (for example olive oil, maize oil, lard and butter). Wet chemical extinguishers have a yellow label.

Can be used on the following class of fires: A, F

We stock a full range of fire extinguishers. to explore the right one see the Fire Safety section from page 120 of our Safety brochure: http://www.easyflip.co.uk/cisafety/



Fire safety checklist


Read through and update your fire risk assessment

Every commercial property must have a fire risk assessment, and reading through this is a helpful way for you to identify any risks and ensure you have the right equipment and procedures in place.


Check fire and smoke alarms are working

Your fire risk as