When To Use A Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extinguisher

A lot of us know about the popular red fire extinguishers used in most homes, shops, hotels and warehouses. Apart from red, you can find other colours used to code extinguishers. The different colours represent different contents and functions; it is crucial that the correct fire extinguishers are used for various fires. The colour codes can be found on the handles, stickers or signs. When you see a particular colour, you should know exactly what it contains. For example:


  • Red indicates water
  • Cream indicates foam
  • Blue indicates dry powder
  • Black indicates Carbon dioxide
  • Yellow indicates wet chemical

    The water extinguisher is recommended for fire protection on plastics, wood and paper. This is the most common type and it is also the least expensive. Avoid attempting to extinguish flammable liquids and electric fires with a water extinguisher.

    Instead, you can use the foam extinguisher for fire on wires and cords. However, this is more expensive but is useful for companies that work with hazardous gasses and liquids.

    Dry powder extinguishers are the most versatile but it is most useful for stopping liquid fires. The powder can be irritating to the eyes so it should be handled carefully. Extinguishers with carbon dioxide work by taking oxygen away from the burning material. The demerit with carbon dioxide extinguisher is that it has to be used in excess so as to surpass the availability of oxygen in the environment. There should also be ventilation to avoid suffocation from the gas. The wet chemical extinguisher is common in modern kitchens and eateries to avoid emergencies from cooking oil fires.

    Big companies and warehouses can pose many dangers when it comes to fires; therefore, if a fire starts and has the potential of becoming uncontrollable, call the fire department as soon as possible. Making sure all working places have fire pumps, fire hoses, fire sprinklers and the appropriate fire extinguishers as well as exit strategies for all staff is absolutely vital.