Dry Powder

Dry powder fire extinguishers are excellent all-round fire extinguishers, often recommended for use on vehicles and in the home. All powder fire extinguishers are red with a blue panel, are either ABC or BC rated and are safe to be used on fires involving electrical equipment. (Remember to look for the electrical safety pictogram.) Dry powder extinguishers are not suitable for use in enclosed spaces such as offices, hotels, schools, etc, as the fire-fighting agent creates a cloud that can obscure vision. The contents may also create breathing problems.

Foam

Foam fire extinguishers have come a long way in 30 years. The original foam was thick, gloopy and smelled appalling, due to its high animal protein content. (Not good for vegetarians, then!) Modern Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF) fire extinguishers are another breed altogether, one of the best all-round units available. Foam extinguishers are red with a cream panel above the operating instructions.

Wet Chemical

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are the new kids on the fire extinguisher scene, developed specifically for use on deep fat cooking fires. The first such extinguisher on the market was the Chubb FryFighter, and its appearance gave rise to a new fire class, Class F and a new British Standard, BS 7937: 2000. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are red with a yellow panel above the operating instructions.

Metal Powder

Specialist fire extinguishers are required to tackle Class D flammable metal fires. As you might expect when dealing with such volatile and specialist materials, you need the correct agent for the metal being extinguished. However, flammable metals are more common than you might imagine, as under certain conditions, even powdered aluminium or swarf can catch fire.

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