Good Types of fire extinguishers, features, and How to use them.

Being security conscious requires that we get the equipment and appliances needed to help secure our homes, workplace, and organizations. We need to keep in stock all necessary safety equipment needed to ensure safety. 

Fire extinguishers are one of the most important safety equipment that we can possess. 

It isn’t enough to have a fire extinguisher, you must have the best and most appropriate fire extinguishers. It is also important that everyone knows how to use a fire extinguisher placed around them.

There are different types of fire extinguishers with different features. It is important to first understand the types of fire extinguishers available in the market. No single extinguisher can quench every type of fire. 

There are fire extinguishers suitable where the fire is caused by combustible carbon-based solids eg paper, wood, or textiles. There are the ones suitable where the fire is caused by flammable liquids eg paraffin, petrol, diesel, or oil and there are fire extinguishers suitable for fires caused by flammable gases, e.g butane, propane, or methane. There are fire extinguishers suitable for when metals, like aluminum, lithium, or magnesium are burning and there are extinguishers suitable for fires caused by electrical equipment and cooking oils. 

Fire extinguishers are grouped into five main types:

Water-based fire extinguishers

Water-based fire extinguishers are suitable for fires caused by paper, wood, straw, coal, rubber, solid plastics, soft furnishings, and more. These extinguishers quench a fire by soaking it and other materials in water. These extinguishers are the easiest, simplest, most commonly used, least expensive, easiest to maintain, and least dangerous of all fire extinguishers. The water-based fire extinguisher has the following features

  • Red in color 
  • The corrosion-resistant finish
  • can be used in shops, offices, retail premises, schools, hotels, warehouses, and domestic premises.

Carbon Dioxide  Fire extinguishers

CO2-based fire extinguishers contain pressurized carbon dioxide gas which is very suitable for use on fires involving burning liquids and electrical fires. 

Features of CO2-based extinguishers

  • Black in colour
  • They do not damage electrical items or initiate short circuits.  
  • CO2 extinguishers get very cold during discharge and are not suitable for deep-fat fryers in case of kitchen accidents
  • CO2 fire extinguishers are designed for Class B liquid fires 
  • They are safe to use on an electrical live wire. 
  • Class C fires, which involve energized electrical equipment, can also be extinguished with CO2.
  • CO2 is released from the extinguisher like dry ice. This CO2 reduces the oxygen in the air around the fire and quenches it. 
  • The CO2 extinguisher does not work well outside due to wind.
  • The range of its discharge is small
  • They do not leave any residue or cause corrosion after the fire is extinguished. 
  • The CO2 is extremely cold, which helps to cool down the flammable liquids or electronics if a fire

Water Mist Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are recent and very powerful. Although smaller in size, these water mist extinguishers are safe and easy to use on different classes of fires. Such as class A, B, C, and F fires. Their other features include

  • Yellow in colour
  • can quench fire cases, caused by electrical equipment up to 1000 volts. 
  • Water mist extinguishers are recyclable 
  • Water mist extinguishers do not contain any chemicals. 

Foam fire extinguishers

Foam Extinguishers work by smoothening the fire in solids and liquids. A foam fire extinguisher quenches fires by covering the flames with a thick blanket of foam. Preventing it from releasing flammable vapor. 

 This only works for Class A and Class B fires. These types of extinguishers are not applicable for burning fats or cooking oil but some models of foam extinguishers can be used to quench electrical fires


  • Cream in color
  • They are easy to clean
  • More expensive than water extinguishers.
  • Affordable and easy to maintain
  • Highly portable
  • Foam extinguishers can be recharged

Dry Powder Extinguishers

Dry Powder extinguishers are best suited for fires that are caused by burning solids, liquids, and gases. These fire extinguishers are generally less expensive and more powerful. Features include

  • Blue in color
  • shouldn’t be used in enclosed spaces because the powder could easily be inhaled and the residue that’s left over is hard to remove. 
  • Suitable for garage forecourts, commercial boiler rooms, welders 
  • Recommended for all vehicles, including fuel tankers.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers

Wet chemical extinguishers use water mists to quench fires. They are suitable for use in the kitchen. They are also suitable for use on Class A and Class B fires though less effective. Some other features of wet chemical extinguishers include: 

  • They consist of a pressurized solution of alkali salts in water. They usually create a fine mist that can cool down flames, and prevent splashing. 
  • It can be useful in hotel kitchens and small restaurants
  • They’re the only extinguishers recommended for use with cooking oil fires.
  • This fire extinguisher is useful for fires involving flammable liquids, such as petrol, diesel, and paint.  Check the label or ask your fire safety professional before using wet chemical extinguishers on this type of fire.

Do not use wet chemical fire extinguishers for fires involving flammable gases, such as methane and butane.

How can you use a Fire Extinguisher?

A lot of individuals only possess a fire extinguisher, they do not know how to use it. Extinguishers truly have different shapes and sizes, and all operate in a similar manner. Four easy steps to follow when using a fire extinguisher are named the PASS method:

 P: Pull the Pin

 A: Aim at the Base of Fire

 S: Squeeze the Operating Handle

 S: Sweep from Side to Side

Asides from the fire extinguisher, there are other equipments suitable for securing the home and workplaces. To know more about other safety gadgets and equipment read more about security and security items on

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