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Four Types of Fire Extinguishers

Four Types of Fire Extinguishers

Different situations require special types of fire extinguishers.

A fire extinguisher is best on small fires, and there are types of fire extinguishers for specific situations.

No universal extinguisher works for every fire.

The LifeSafe team has prepared this guide to shed light on different types of fires and how to extinguish them.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Four main classifications of extinguishers include Water, Foam, Dry Powder, and Carbon Dioxide.

The six classes of fire are;

  • A – Combustible Material
  • B – Flammable Liquids
  • C – Flammable gasses
  • D – Combustible Metals
  • E – Electrical Fires
  • F – Cooking Fires

Let’s look at which extinguishers work best on each of these classes.


Water puts out fires in the Class A branch and usually works on organic materials.

NEVER USE WATER ON electrical fires or flammable liquids and gasses, as they could potentially make the fire worse.

There are multiple water extinguishers, with Water Spray and Water Mist being the two sub-classifications.

The difference is a spray nozzle for larger sprays to extinguish the fire.

Water mist extinguishers feature a different nozzle. They spray microscopic water particles, which work to smother and suffocate the fire in a mist.


Like water ones, foam is a common type of fire extinguishers and most public structures will have to have one in some form.

You can identify them by the cream label ‘Foam’ at the side, used to quell Class A and B ignitions by cooling the material to stop it burning.

They form a foam blocker between burning liquids and flames to extinguish the fire.

They have the same limitations as water extinguishers, and cannot be used on electrical blazes or metals.

Dry Powder

Devices using Dry Powder work on Classes A, B, or C fires.

These types of fire extinguishers have a blue label.

Specialised types of fire extinguishers for welding, chemical processing, and other hazardous sites on electrical fires up to 1000v.

The toxic powder is easily inhaled, so avoid using indoors.

Specialist dry powder extinguishers are designed to tackle metal fires: L2 for lithium fires, and M28 for any other metals.

Carbon Dioxide

Electrical fires are quite tricky to put out; a dry powder fire extinguisher might not be strong enough if the voltage is too high.

They are the only type that will work on all electrical fires. Plus, they put out Class B blazes.

Identifiable by the black label on the side, likely found in server rooms or other businesses that deal with large numbers of electrical appliances.

You shouldn’t use them for anything else.

Remember, chip pan fires react poorly to a CO2 extinguisher.

The Best Fire Extinguishing Technology

Conventional extinguishers are cumbersome to use in dangerous situations.

Firescape has created the Stay Safe 5-in-1 Fire Extinguisher, a innovative fire extinguishing solution designed for portable use.

The Stay Safe aerosol weighs 200ml and intended for more general use. It's lightweight and fits in your draws, cabinets, or even in your car.

It uses the patented LifeSafe formula, which is one of the eco-friendliest on the market.

If you want to upgrade your home fire extinguishers, go straight to our easy-to-use shop to make a purchase.