Get To Know Your Fire Extinguishers
Fire Extinguishers, Their Colours and the Differences
The first patented of the fire extinguisher was that made by Ambrose Godfrey, a chemist in 1723. It was a cask container with the contents being a pewter chamber of gunpowder and connected with a network of fuses that once ignited would explode due to the gunpowder, resulting in the liquid being distributed. If we look at the modern dry powder fire extinguisher, we can see it originating from a compressed copper vessel of three gallons of potassium carbonate solution that was contained with compressed air. It was invented by a British Captain in 1818 called George William Manby.
More recently there was a change where Halon fire extinguishers were prohibited for use except in the military and police. In 1997, where previously the fire extinguishers full body was colour coded depending on contents, now they are found to all be red with their relevant cover presented on it as a strip of colour.
Colour: white stripe
Used for: wood, coal, plastic, paper, textiles, solid materials etc
Do not use for: all other fire types
Used for: solid materials, liquid, gas, electrical fires
Do not use for: chip or fat pans fires or metal fires
Used for: solid material and liquid fires
Do not use for: gas, metal, chip or fat pan fires
Used for: liquid and electrical fires
Do not use for: gas metal, chip or fat pan fires
Used for: fires that involve cooking oils and fats
Do not use for: any other type of fire
Different Classes of Fires
Class A – solid or organic materials (wood, paper, plastic etc)
Class B – flammable liquids (petroleum oil, gasoline, diesel, chloropropylene etc)
Class C – flammable gas (propane, methane etc)
Class D – combustible metals (magnesium, sodium, aluminium etc)
Class F – cooking oils and fats (olive oil, butter, coconut oil etc)
*Electrical fires do not have their own class letter because they can be found alongside any of the other classes*
Each of the classes have their own symbol, including electrical fires which can be found on the fire extinguisher themselves.