Fire Extinguishers That Can Be Used in Commercial Premises

In Australia, there are six different types of fire extinguishing devices that are allowed to be used in the workplace. Each is designed for a slightly different purpose which means that business owners are responsible for ensuring that the right type or types are available to be used in the event of an emergency. Use the following guide to make sure that the right ones are chosen:

  • Class A – This type of fire extinguisher is used for many sorts of fires. Any fires that are fed from sources such as paper, fabric or cloth, certain plastics, wooden materials or rubber-based products can be dealt with as a fire extinguisher of this type. A class A fire extinguisher works with a number of different technologies, each designed to prevent oxygen from getting to the material that is fuelling the fire. Powder, water and foam fire extinguishers are all used under class A as well as some wet chemicals.

  • Class B – The second class of extinguisher is designed to handle fires which are fuelled by flammable or combustible liquids, such as petrol. In many working environments, flammable liquids are used routinely. This might include some chemically based cleaning products, for example. A number of lubricants that are used for machinery can also fall into this category. A class B fire extinguisher will use powder, such as ABE and BE, as well as foam.

  • Class C – A class C extinguisher is for fires which are feeding on flammable gas. Some industrial workplaces use gas to operate equipment under pressure. If it is lit, then a class C fire extinguisher is most suitable for putting it out. Most contain ABE or BE powder.

  • Class D – This is a specialist type of extinguisher that is used to put out fires from combustible metals. These are often required in medical or scientific laboratories and are not really designed for general use.

  • Class E - The class E type of fire extinguishers should be used if there is an electrical fire. Any business premises that uses electric heaters or where high-powered electrical equipment is employed should have an extinguisher of this type. Class E fire extinguishers are utilised for all sorts of electrical fires and many contain powders. Others have carbon dioxide or vaporising liquid inside.

  • Class F – The final class of extinguishers deal with blazes that are fed by cooking oils or fat-based products. This means that they are essential in restaurants and catering businesses where a kitchen is in use. They are also often needed in food production factories. Class F fire extinguishing equipment contain powders and wet chemicals.