Portable Fire Extinguishers

 Portable Fire extinguisher is fire protection device used to extinguish or control small fires, often in emergency situations.

Fire is a fierce chemical reaction that results in light, heat, flames and smoke. In order to burn, a fire requires three things: oxygen, heat and a fuel source.

Portable fire extinguishers are designed to displace one of these requirements. This includes cooling the fuel source, separating the oxygen from the fuel, or stopping the chemical reaction altogether.

It is important to know the locations and the types of extinguishers in your workplace prior to actually using one

Water Extinguisher

Water fire extinguishers are probably the most common. This extinguisher is red with white writing and label. It mostly works by cooling the fire to extinguish it.  Water fire extinguishers are only suitable for Class A fire which are fire involving ordinary combustible materials like burning wood, paper, plastics, grass etc.

  • Never use this type of fire extinguisher on or near electrical equipment.


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Form Fire extinguishers are red with cream label. Form extinguishers primarily work by smothering fires and starving the fire of the oxygen it needs to burn. Like water extinguishers they can also be used on class A fires. Form Extinguishers are also used on class B fires. These are fires involving flammable liquids like petrol, paraffin and paints.

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Powder (Blue)

Dry powder fire extinguishers are red with a blue label. Unlike foam extinguishers this type of extinguisher doesn’t contain water so can be used on live electrical equipment. Powder extinguishers can be used on class B (Liquid), class C (gases). The use of this extinguisher can fill the air with powder causing visibility issues, and inhalation of powder. And while it can be used on electrical equipment powder will enter the equipment and can cause damage.

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Carbon Dioxide ( Black)

Carbon dioxide extinguishers are red with a black label. The carbon dioxide in this type of extinguisher replaces oxygen in the air sorrounding the fire preventing combustion. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are best used for electric fires.

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Wet Chemical (Yellow)

Wet chemical extinguishers are red with yellow label. It works by making chemical changes to burning oils, making them non- combustible. This type of fire extinguisher was specifically designed to be used on cooking oils and fats, it is the main extinguisher used for class F( cooking fats and oils)

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