What you need to know about fire extinguishers


Classes of fire

Fires are classified according to the materials that are burning. This classification system allows you to choose the right fire extinguisher.

Fire is broken down into five Classes – A, B, C, D and F.

Class A – combustible solids (paper, wood)
Class B – flammable liquids (petrol, diesel, spirits, paint)
Class C – flammable gases (methane, butane)
Class D – metals
Class F – cooking oils and fats

Types of extinguisher

  • Water (H2O)
  • Foam
  • ABC Powder
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
  • Wet chemical
  • Powder
  • Monnex

Discover the pros and cons of the different types of fire extinguisher.

Fire rating system

Fire rating refers to a fire extinguisher’s fire-fighting capabilities.

Although fire is categorised into 5 classes, only classes A, B and F carry a fire rating.

You will find the rating printed on the body of the extinguisher – for example: 13A/75F.

In this example, the prefix numbers 13 and 75 refer to the size of the fire and the letters A and F represent the Class of Fire on which to use the extinguisher.

The higher the prefix number the greater the fire extinguisher’s fire-fighting capabilities.

In this instance, the extinguisher is suitable on a Size 13 Class A (Combustible Solids) fire and also on a Size 75 Class F (Cooking Oils & Fats) fire.

In Class A the size refers to 13 metres in length, while in classes B and F the 75 represents volume in litres.