Deprecated: Function session_register() is deprecated in /home/sites/ on line 88 Extinguishers
 Current Threat Level in the UK SEVERE  Issued by

Forum Links

News Archive


Choosing A Fire Extinguisher

Fire Kills

Each year nearly 700 people die from fire in their home. A further 14,000 are injured. The best way to avoid this danger is to prevent fire from starting in the first place. But what should you do if you discover a fire in your home? You must get everyone out as quickly as possible and call the fire brigade.

However you may discover a fire in its very early stages and think that you can deal with it yourself. The first thing that you should remember is that fire spreads very quickly. Even a small contained fire can quickly spread, producing smoke and fumes which can kill in seconds. If you are in any doubt do not tackle the fire, no matter how small.

Each year nearly 700 people die from fire in their home. A further 14,000 are injured. The best way to avoid this danger is to prevent fire from starting in the first place. But what should you do if you discover a fire in your home? You must get everyone out as quickly as possible and call the fire brigade.

You can put yourself at risk by fighting the fire. If in doubt get out, get the brigade out, stay out.




Before you tackle a fire...

Many people put out small fires in their homes quite safely. Sadly, however, some people die or are injured by tackling a fire which is beyond their capabilities. Here is a simple home fire code to help you decide whether to put out or get out.

* Only tackle a fire in its very early stages.

* Always put your own and other peoples safety first. Make sure you can escape if you need to and never let a fire block you exit.

* Fire extinguishers are only for fighting a fire in its very early stages. Never tackle a fire if it is starting to spread of has spread to other items in the room or if the room is filling with smoke. Around 70% of fire deaths are caused by people being overcome by smoke and fumes.

* If you cannot put out the fire or if the extinguisher becomes empty, get out and get everyone else out of the building immediately, closing all doors behind you as you go. Then telephone the fire brigade.



Safety marks - buy wisely

Whatever type of make of fire extinguisher you choose, make sure it conforms to the appropriate British Standard. Look for the kitemark or the special BAFE mark.




Where to fix your extinguisher

Fix an extinguisher where you can reach it quickly. The best place is on an escape route, that is near an outside door, or on the route from the living areas to an outside door, or adjacent to a specific risk. It should be properly fixed to the wall at a height where it can be reached. Keep it out of the reach of children.

Fire extinguishers should be fixed where they can be easily seen. Fixing them inside cupboards or behind doors will only waste valuable time if a fire breaks out. Do not place them over cookers or heaters or in places of extreme temperatures.




The manufacturers instructions will tell you what you need to do to keep your extinguisher in good working order. After an extinguisher has been used, even if only partially, it must be recharged according to the manufacturers instructions.

The extinguisher should be properly serviced once a year. You should use a company registered by the British Approvals for Fire Equipment (BAFE).

BAFE is a Government recognised national organisation. You can get details of approved products and advice from

British Approvals for Fire Equipment,
48a Eden Street,
Kingston upon Thames,
Surrey, KT1 1EE
(Tel: 0181 541 1950)

They can also supply a list of companies approved by them to service portable fire extinguishers.




Fire blankets

They are particularly useful for smothering fat pan fires or for wrapping round a person whose clothing is on fire. Fire blankets conforming to BS 7944:1999 and BS EN 1869:1997 are suitable for use in the home. These will be marked to show whether they should be thrown away after use or used again after cleaning in accordance with the manufacturers instructions.

A fire blanket or damp cloth should be used on a fat pan fire. Never use a fire extinguisher on a fat pan fire. Fire blankets should be kept in the kitchen.

Please see the link below to buy fire blankets.




Further Information

Always follow the manufacturers instructions. If you require any further information about the type of fire extinguisher or fire blanket you should buy, ask your local fire brigade. They Will be glad to help you and their advice is expert and free of charge. They will also be able to provide you with general fire safety advice.

Types of Extinguisher ( & Colour Coding)
The main types of extinguisher that you will come across are,


* Water (Red)
* CO2 (Black) See Cut-away section
* Dry Powder (Blue) See Cut-away section
* Foam (cream)


These have been colour coded so that you can identify them quickly and you do not use the wrong extinguisher and put yourself in danger. The main body colour of the extinguisher have been changed a couple of times over the past few years (any extinguishers that are not of the correct colour will be replaced when they become unserviceable), however the type colour has remained the same.

* Water extinguishers are usually coloured signal red.
* Other types of extinguishers fall into a couple of catagories, either:

1. The entire body of the extinguisher in the type colour.
2. Predominantly red with a 5% second colour to indicate the contents of the extinguisher.
3. Predominantly red with a bold coloured block in the relevant colour stating it's type.

It is recommended that extinguishers within the same building conform to a single colour scheme to avoid confusion.

If you have any doubt then please contact your local Fire Safety Department for advice.

In the folowing page the extinguishers have been listed with the colour of the extinguisher matching the colour type. This is to highlight the colour type only and any new extinguisher purchased or leased will be predominantly red.

View the Extinguisher list.



Forum Login

Please login or register to our forum.

CS Todd Vacancies
IFPA Spopnsor
RIFA advert