Types of Fire Extinguishers in Australia

Fire is an unfortunate event that causes damage to life and property. In Australia, fires are frequent. In fact, bush fires are a part of our ecosystem. Though there are some types of fires that can be controlled, and the damage to property and life can be diminished, every property owner must take preventative measures. Whether it is a construction site or a business property, an educational institute or a residential apartment, having fire safety equipment is essential. One such safety equipment is a fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers assist in saving lives and minimising the chances of risks involved. However, using the correct fire extinguisher is important. If a wrong fire extinguisher is used, the effects can bounce back and cause more harm. It is crucial to know the class of fire to understand which fire extinguisher to be used when.

The different classes of fires are:

  • Class A – Normal combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth or plastic
  • Class B – Flammable liquids such as petrol, kerosene, paint or turpentine
  • Class C – Combustible gases such as LPG gas, natural gas, hydrogen, butane or methane
  • Class D – Flammable metals such as magnesium, potassium or aluminium
  • Class E – Electrically energised equipment such as short-circuited machinery or overloaded electrical cables.
  • Class F – Cooking oils such as vegetable oil, fats and lard.

There are five types of fire extinguishers in Australia. They are as follows:

  • Water Extinguisher

Water extinguishers extinguish the fire by taking out the heating element from the fire triangle. This type of fire extinguisher should be used for Class A fires only. Using water fire extinguisher in a Class B or a Class C fire can have disastrous effects. It can spread the flammable liquid in Class B fire or create a shock hazard in Class C fire.

  • Foam Extinguisher

Similar to water extinguisher, a foam extinguisher also takes out the heating element from the fire triangle, thereby assisting in extinguishing the fire. The foam agents separate oxygen element from all other elements.

  • CO2 Extinguisher

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are used for Class B & Class C fires. They blow out the fire by taking away the oxygen element of the fire triangle and by removing the heat through an extremely cold discharge.

  • Dry Chemical Powder Extinguisher

Dry chemical powder fire extinguishers are the most used types of fire extinguisher. They are effective on Class A, B and C fires. This type of dry chemical powder extinguisher extinguishes the fire by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle.

  • Wet Chemical Extinguisher

Wet chemical fire extinguishers stamp out the fire by removing the heat of the fire triangle and even prevent re-ignition. Wet Chemical Extinguishers create a barrier between oxygen and fuel elements, thus preventing re-ignition.

At Victorian Fire Protection (VFP), we provide you with a wide array of fire equipment and services including fire extinguisher service and fire extinguisher refill. We also offer a fire training course that complies with the Australian Standard 3745 Emergency Control Organizations. For further information connect with us on 1300 974 877.

Types of Fire Extinguishers in Australia
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