How to Choose the Right Fire Extinguisher

There are several types of fire extinguishers. So how do you go about choosing the right one? Follow this guideline to help make the right decision when purchasing a fire extinguisher and meet Australian safety compliance standards.

1. What’s the situation?

Your fire extinguisher should be one that matches with the types of fires that are most likely to occur in the vicinity or the premises where the fire extinguisher is installed. The types of fires are split into classes:

  • A Class: Combustible materials such as wood, plastics and cloth.
  • B Class: Flammable liquids such as solvents and petrol.
  • C Class: Flammable gases such as butane and methane.
  • E Class: Electrical equipment such as computers.
  • F Class: Cooking oils and fats such as deep fat fryers.

Some fire extinguishers are better at handling certain classes of fires better than others or not at all. For example, wet chemical fire extinguishers can be ideal for the kitchen because they are suitable for use on fires caused by cooking oils but not for electrical equipment. Conversely, a CO2 fire extinguisher is suitable for fires caused by electrical equipment but not for cooking oils. If this is confusing, don’t worry, we’ll have a table later in this article that will summarise exactly what each type of fire extinguisher should and shouldn’t be used for. For now, just ask yourself: what types of fires could you be expecting?

2. How much fire extinguishing power do you need?

Fire extinguishers are tested and given a fire rating to denote the types of fires they can extinguish. For instance, a fire extinguisher with a fire rating of 2B:E means it is capable of extinguishing B Class and E Class fires. Another fire extinguisher with a rating of 5B:E means it can do the same, however, the 5B part of the rating means it can extinguish bigger B Class fires compared to the previous fire extinguisher which only has a 2B rating. The higher the number, the bigger the fire it can extinguish for the specified fire type.

3. Refer to the Portable Fire Extinguisher Guide

Now that you know how to choose a fire extinguisher, Download the FREE Guide below. It is important to remember that fire extinguishers are for small fires only.

Download Guide

Seton’s Fire Safety Recommendations:

While having the right fire safety equipment is important, workplaces should also have an effective emergency plan to ensure the safety of all personnel. Here are 6 things to consider when creating effective emergency plan.

Call Seton on 1800 531 499 to order any extinguisher or shop online for a range of fire extinguishers.

Disclaimer: Information provided on Seton are guides only.

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Pattie Dineros