| 11 August 2021 | 0 Comments

Fire Extinguisher Top 3 Must Knows

Fire Extinguishers are safety critical equipment! They can save lives and property by putting out small fires or containing it, but portable fire extinguishers have limitations and applications. Let’s consider the Fire Extinguisher Top 3 Must Knows.

1. Fire Extinguisher Selection

When selecting a fire extinguisher it is important to understand the type of fire extinguisher required for the situation. The below table helps to understand the types of fires by class.

types of fire extinguishers

*Courtesy Fire Equipment Manufactures’ Association via LinkedIn Slideshare – Download free copy here here

Class of Fire


Class A Fires Fires in ordinary combustible materials, such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics.
Class B Fires Fires in flammable liquids, combustible liquids, petroleum greases, tars, oils, oil-based paints, solvents, lacquers, alcohols, and flammable gases.
Class C Fires Fires that involve energized electrical equipment.
Class D Fires Fires in combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, zirconium, sodium, lithium, and potassium.
Class K Fires Fires in cooking appliances that involve combustible cooking media (vegetable or animal oils and fats).

*Courtesy National Fire Protection Association

Class ABC Dry Chemical Fire Extinguishers – multipurpose

ABC Dry Chemical is a multipurpose extinguishing agent that is suitable for use on Class A, Class B and Class C fires.

TYPICAL USES: For public areas such as offices, classrooms, churches, parking garages, and hotel/motel assembly halls and guest areas. For businesses such as retail stores, light manufacturing facilities, research facilities, auto dealerships, vehicle/ aircraft/marine service centers, and manufacturing processes such as painting, dipping, and coating.

ABC fire extinguisher

2. Fire Extinguisher Use – P.T.A.S.S – Technique

After selecting the right fire extinguisher for the environment, it is critical to learn how to use the fire extinguisher. The P.T.A.S.S technique is a simple way of remembering how to effectively use a portable extinguisher

3. Maintenance and Servicing of Fire Extinguisher

Just like any other piece of critical equipment, fire extinguishers require servicing and maintenance. Here are some key points for inspection and maintenance.

  • Check your extinguishers every 30 days for the following:
  • The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment or objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
  • The pressure is at the recommended level. The needle on the gauge should be in the green zone.
  • The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
  • The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
  • There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits or other signs of wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil or dust that may have deposited on the extinguisher.
  • Shake or use a rubber mallet to tamp the extinguisher once a month to prevent the powder from settling.

Fire extinguishers should be inspected annually by a certified service company and pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after 12 years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner’s manual, extinguisher label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing. If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it immediately!

Fire extinguisher service


Never place yourself or others in jeopardy by attempting to extinguish a fire. If you cannot extinguish a small fire with a portable fire extinguisher, or if the smoke becomes hazardous, leave the area immediately. When it’s safe to do so, call your local fire authorities (999, 990) to report the fire and wait outside for the fire fighters to arrive.

To learn more about fire safety training, services and products, visit IRP Fire & Safety Ltd.

Fire Extinguisher Top 3 Must Knows

  1. Select the right extinguisher
  2. Learn how to use it (P.T.A.S.S)
  3. Service and Maintenance

Useful Links

IRP Fire & Safety

Combat Fire Extinguishers Video 

IRP Profile Energy Connectt

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