Which Fire Extinguishers Should My Business Have?

With fire season upon us and warmer, dryer conditions returning, we all need to be aware of the dangers of bush fires. After all, who can forget the devastation of the 2019-20 season? For business owners and facility managers, fire preparation should include a fire safety assessment. This assessment will ensure you have all the necessary safety and fire suppression equipment and protocols in place. So, should the worst happen and a fire starts at your workplace, which fire extinguishers should you have available?

6 Main Types of Fire Extinguishers in Australia

There are six main types of fire extinguishers used in Australia. Each one contains a different fire suppressant chosen for the source of the fire. These are water, foam, dry powder, carbon dioxide, wet chemical and vaporising liquid. Moreover, each fire extinguisher is identifiable by a different coloured band. Essentially, knowing which one to use is a requirement to meet fire regulations and, ultimately, to best protect your workforce. However, having the right fire extinguishers is only half the story. You also need to understand the different types of fire or fire class.

What Are Fire Classes?

Fires are divided into 4 common classes to help choose which fire extinguisher to use. The source fuel of the fire defines each one. So, here’s a quick guide to the fire class and which extinguisher to use.

Class A

Wood, paper, plastic. Class A is the most common type of fire. So, sources may include clothing, pallets of cardboard, rubbish bins. Basically, most suppressants can be used except carbon dioxide.

Class B

Flammable liquids. This includes combustible, flammable liquids such as petrol, kerosene, oils, paint, and cleaning spirits. For this class of fire, dry powder is the most suitable. Furthermore, it’s important to avoid water as a suppressant, especially if the source is grease.

Class C

Flammable gases. This class includes LPG, butane and propane etc. Never attempt to suppress a gas fire without first shutting off the supply. Only select a dry powder fire extinguisher.

Class F

Cooking oils and fats. These fires usually start in a kitchen. Use a wet chemical extinguisher or suppress the fire with a fire blanket, never use water.

Maintaining and Using Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers should be properly secured in places where they may be most needed. Furthermore, the correct types should be available near to the particular type of possible fire class. In addition, your extinguishers must be regularly inspected and serviced by qualified personnel. Finally, it’s recommended that all staff, not just fire wardens, are trained in the correct use of fire extinguishers and fire safety protocols.

If you’d like to talk about fire safety or equipment, why not call our friendly team at Harbour Fire & Security today?

Tags: fire classes, fire extinguishers, fire safety, fire safety assessment
Which Fire Extinguishers Should My Business Have

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