choosing a fire extinguisher

Before selecting a fire extinguisher it is important that the Fire Risk is evaluated as there are different types of fuels or fires.

Burning paper, wood or fabric for example can be extinguished with water. But using water to try and put out burning cooking oil or flammable liquids such as paraffin can have disastrous results.

There are four types of fire extinguisher:

       • Water [removes heat]
       • Foam [removes heat and oxygen]
       • Dry Powder [removes oxygen]
       • CO2 [removes or depletes oxygen]


  A   B   C   D   F
Combustible materials: paper, wood, coal, textiles   Flammable liquids and gasses: oil, paraffin, alcohol, LPG  

A, B, D or F fires where a live electrical risk occurs

  Combustible metals: aluminium, magnesium, lithium   Cooking oils and fats
  Water X        
  Foam   X   X            
  Dry Powder ABC   X   X   X        
  Dry Powder BC       X   X        
  CO2           X        
  Wet Chemical           X       X

It is strongly recommended that you contact a FFETA fire extinguisher company to ensure that the correct type of fire extinguisher is selected. They will also advise you on the size and number of fire extinguishers required to satisfy legal requirements.

It is essential that proper training is given on the use of fire extinguishers and a FFETA fire extinguisher company can also assist in this regard.

It is a legal requirement to service fire extinguishers at least once a year.

It is also a legal requirement for the person responsible for the fire equipment to keep a Register of such equipment that also details the regular maintenance.

Using a FFETA member will ensure that your equipment is serviced by a qualified technician and your premises remains legally compliant.