Every year billions of pounds are lost due to fire; many of which are caused as a result of negligence. However, the effects can often be worse due to a lack of understanding over fire safety measures, in particular, the type of fire and the correct extinguisher to use.

Broadly speaking there are 6 different types of fire, classified on the basis of the material / cause of the fire:

  • Type A – flammable solids, e.g. wood, paper, fabric and plastic
  • Type B – flammable liquid, e.g. petrol
  • Type C – flammable gases, e.g. propane
  • Type D – combustible metals, for example, magnesium and titanium
  • Type E – electrical equipment and appliances
  • Type F – fires involving cooking fats or oil

It is not always possible to control a fire simply with water and an alternative extinguisher should be used. For example, water is one of the best conductors of electricity. Likewise, with a fire involving cooking fats or oil, water will actually evaporate and spread the flame into the air.

So, which extinguisher should you use for which fire? The table below hopefully provides your employees, and thereby your business, with a helpful overview;

Click here to view the table.