Types of fire extinguishers and their uses

Do you know that fire is one riskiest hazard that can cause loss of lives and damage to property? Well, such hazards can easily be averted by owning a fire extinguisher, which is vital to our well-being. All homes, offices or companies should own fire extinguishers in case of a fire break out. This device will save property from burning as it stops and also prevent the spreading of fire.

Fire extinguishers have varied benefits which include; it takes a small percentage of the building. Some leaves burnt appliances intact. They are easy to use. Fire extinguishers don’t require tough maintenance. They don’t need frequent purchase provided it’s well maintained. There are various types of fire extinguishers and their uses vary because different fuels form different fires.

The following are the different types of fire extinguishers and their uses :

Water fire extinguishers - 

They are the most used effectively to fight Class A fires (caused by solid materials like wood, paper, and fabrics). They have a red label. Most premises e.g. offices, residential, hospitals, and warehouses, etc. will require this type of fire extinguisher. The extinguisher works by spraying water, which has cooling effect on fuel causing the flame. They are of different types which include water jet, water spray, water mist and water extinguisher with chemicals.

types of fire extinguisher

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Foam extinguisher -

They are used for both class A and B fires. Though, they are mostly used for class B fires (Caused by flammable liquid and gas). They have a cream label. Used in premises such as those of Class A fires. Foam extinguishers work on fires due to their cooling effect on the fuel. On liquids that are burning, it creates a barrier between the fuel and flame hence extinguishing it. Should be placed by the exits.

Dry powder extinguishers -

They are multipurpose fire extinguisher as they are used on Class A, B and C types (caused by electrical appliances) of fire. They have a blue label. This extinguisher works by forming barrier between fuel and oxygen source. It’s used in premises as those of Class A, B and also in liquid petroleum gas stations, premises with boilers, welding/ fabricating premises, and garages etc. They should be placed near fire risk source.

Carbon dioxide extinguishers -

These extinguishers are mostly used for electrical fires. They are sometimes used for Class B fires. They have a black label. They work by cutting off oxygen supply needed by the flame to combust and also giving cold discharge. They are used in premises with electrical appliances e.g. offices, server rooms, and construction sites etc.

types of fire extinguishers

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Wet chemical extinguishers -

These are designed for class F fire (caused by cooking fat or oil). They can also be used on Class A fires. They have a yellow label. They work by creating foam layer on the fuel surface, hence preventing oxygen from re-igniting the fire. They are used in premises with kitchens. They are placed near source of fire risk.

Fire blankets -

These types of extinguishers are majorly used for Class F fires. They are also widely used on individuals whole clothing has caught fire. They work by cutting off oxygen supply that fuels the fire. They are mostly used in premises with kitchens.


Fire extinguishers are designed to put off fires caused by different classes of fire. Therefore, it’s important to examine the fire risk from the varied classes of fire in your premises. This will determine the type/ types you require. It’s also important to check on the size of the extinguisher. It’s essential to be aware of the types of fire extinguishers and their uses to minimize or prevent the fire risks.


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