Most business owners understand the importance of having the correct types and numbers of fire extinguishers in their workplace as well having this equipment checked and serviced regularly. But are you convinced that, should a fire occur, that your employees are trained in managing this emergency situation?

In the case of a major fire incident, the advice is to evacuate the building immediately and call the emergency services.  However, if it’s a small fire which can be easily isolated, then fire safety equipment such as extinguishers should be in place and easily accessible for employees to use to contain the fire.  

What is vitally important should this scenario occur, is that employees know which extinguisher to use and how to use it correctly.

Fire Safety Training

When specialist companies carry out fire safety training, they always recommend the PASS method as an easy way of remembering what to do.  In this instance, PASS stands for:

Pull: the first thing you need to do is to pull the safety pin or tag to operate the extinguisher.

Aim: you should always aim the extinguisher at the base of the fire which is the source of the flames.

Squeeze: the trigger needs to be squeezed slowly and steadily until the extinguisher starts to work.

Sweep: you will then need to sweep the extinguisher back and forth over the base of the flames until the fire has been extinguished.

Types of  Workplace Extinguishers

Certain types of extinguishers work on different types of fires and it’s important to have the right extinguisher in place or it won’t put the fire out.  What’s more, if you use the wrong extinguisher, you could cause the fire to spread rather than put it out. 

The main classes of fire extinguishers which are commonly used in the workplace are as follows:

Class A fires for combustible materials caused by flammable solids, such as wood, paper, and textiles

Class B fires for flammable liquids such as petrol, paint or spirits

Class C fires  for flammable gases ike propane and butane

Class D fires for flammable metals including chemicals such as magnesium, lithium or potassium

Electrical fires for electrical equipment like computers and photocopiers.

Class F fires for cooking oils: such as olive oil or butter. Typically a chip-pan fire

The table below gives you a comprehensive overview of which types of extinguisher you need for different fires:

fire extinguisher


Information about the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers

In addition to the above table,  we thought it would be  helpful to share with you some important information about how the different extinguishers that we sell to businesses across the UK work.

  • Water Fire Extinguishers: water is expelled from this type of extinguisher directly over the fire. You need to be aware of electrical hazards such as computers or copiers in the area and, if possible, avoid contact by water from the extinguisher.
  • Foam Fire Extinguishers: these extinguishers are made up of strong chemical elements and so can be dangerous if used in certain environments.
  • Powder Fire Extinguishers: the main issue you may find with a powder extinguisher is that the powder tends to go everywhere and should be cleaned up as soon as it is safe to do so.
  • Co2 Fire Extinguishers: Co2 is a gas so is dangerous in its own right. Co2 ejected from an extinguisher in a confined space can result in a shortage of oxygen so people should be evacuated from the area as soon as possible prior to using designated person using the extinguisher.
  • Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers: these fire extinguishers are ideal for restaurants and kitchens specifically being for use on fats and oils. However, care needs to be taken when using these extinguishers as the pressure can impact on the oil causing it to spurt out.

Hartson Fire Extinguishers

At Hartson Fire, we have been providing fire extinguishers to a huge number of businesses for more than 20 years.  We stock a huge range of different types which are available to order by calling the number below or via our website here