Fire Extinguishers

There are different types of fire extinguishers that are used for different types of fires. They each contain a different substance (eg foam, water, carbon dioxide) and each one is specifically designed for fires cause by different factors and materials. There isn’t one fire extinguisher that can put out all types of fires. For example, you couldn’t put out an electrical fire with a water fire extinguisher because this would be extremely dangerous.

Fire extinguishers used in Australia are rated for one or more classes of fire. The different classes of fire are outlined below:

Fire Classes

  • Class A – Ordinary Combustibles
  • Class B – Flammable and Combustible Liquids
  • Class C – Flammable Gases
  • Class D – Combustible Metals
  • Class E – Electrically Energised Equipment
  • Class F – Cooking Oils and Fats

Portable fire extinguishers are made easily identifiable by their coloured band as well as labels on the cylinder. The most common fire extinguishers used in Australia are water, foam and powder.

Water Fire Extinguishers – Class A Fires

Water fire extinguishers are used for class A fires which are ordinary combustibles such as paper. They are solid red in colour with no band. They are not to be used for electrical fires or for cooking oils and fats.

Foam Fire Extinguishers – Class A and Class B Fires

Foam fire extinguishers are used for class A and class B fires such as paper or flammable liquids (not gas). They have limited effectiveness for class F fires and are not to be used for electrical fires. The are solid red with a blue band or label.

Powder Fire Extinguishers – Rated ABE or BE

Powder Fire Extinguishers are rated as ABE or BE. ABE rated extinguishers are suitable for class A, class B, class C and class E fires. They are not considered effective for class F fires. BE rated extinguishers are suitable for class B, class C and class E fires and may be used with limited effectiveness of class F fires. They can also be used for class A fires. They are a red cylinder with a white band or label. These are the most common fire extinguishers used in domestic settings as they can be used for fires involving cooking oils and fats as well as electrical fires.

Carbon Dioxide (CO2) – Class E Fires

Carbon Dioxide fire extinguishers are used for class E fires which are electrical. It is a red cylinder with a black band or label.

Vaporising Liquid – Class A and Class E Fires

Vaporising liquid extinguishers are used for class A and class E fires. They are red with a yellow band or label.

Wet Chemical – Class F Fires

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are used for fires involving cooking oils and fats. They are red with an oatmeal band or label.

Class D fires (combustible metals) require specialised extinguishers.

Using a fire extinguisher effectively can help prevent the spread of fire and damage to people and property. This is why it is so important for as many people as possible to be trained in the use of fire extinguishers regularly, in homes and work places. Although fire extinguishers are not difficult to use, it is important to know where they are located, which extinguisher to choose and how to use one safely and effectively.

An emergency is not the time to read instructions and try to work out how to use one. Fire extinguishers should be used in the early stages of a fire and by someone who is confident in the use of one (and also physically able to use one).  The fire service should always be called on 000. If the fire cannot be extinguished using a fire extinguisher than it is too large and evacuation needs to occur.

I have used AF&S to arrange both onsite and offsite training. They have been a pleasure to deal with administratively and we have received positive feedback from staff regarding the training provided.

“The group very much enjoyed the professional, efficient and hands on training with Australasian Fire and Safety.”

1 hour Extinguisher training course. Nov 2017

Jeff most liked:

Involvement of all in attendance. Presentation was excellent.

Steve is an excellent trainer. Strongly recommended.

Emergency Warden course.

Julie most liked:

The course was delivered well with good interaction from group and trainer. Trainer had a friendly manner.

Emergency warden course.

Ray most liked:

Very clear and direct – good examples and easy to relate. Keep it up!

Emergency Warden course

Kristin most liked:

easy to follow – not too many words on presentation. Very engaging.

Emergency Warden Course.

This was a VERY informational course which I would HIGHLY recommend to others, for home or work use

(Emergency Warden course)

Australasian Fire & Safety are a very professional company and I have nothing but good things to say about them. All the staff are helpful and pleasant to deal with and always respond to queries in a very timely manner. I would recommend Australasian Fire & Safety to anyone looking to complete their training.

We have used Australasian Fire & Safety as our provider for fire warden training over the last 4 years. They have provided excellent training presenters, facilities and course content. Steve and his staff provide a great service and we will continue work with them for all our future needs would recommend them to anyone needing fire & safety training.

The Australasian Fire & Safety team has provided training to our organisation for many years. The training sessions are perfect overviews of the necessary detail required for our business needs. The sessions are extremely well structured, planned and focused with the instructor also managing to enlighten us with some humour which made the session interesting and understandable. I definitely feel confident in offering their service to clients.

Steve and his team are always a reliable source of information and AF&S is our preferred fire and safety training provider. Having conducted training for our student leadership team for the past few years I would highly recommend them. They are willing to go beyond usual training requirements, and tailor their services to our unique needs.

“Australasian Fire & Safety provide fire training for our new shift managers. They are very friendly and a pleasure to deal with. The sessions are well structured, informative, practical and engaging”