(Toolbox Talk) Fire Safety, Know Your Fire Extinguishers

Table of Contents
Fire safety know your fire extinguishers


The aim of this toolbox talk is to increase staff awareness of the types of fire extinguishers. Including what type of fires each extinguisher can be used for.

The use of regular toolbox talks, if done effectively, will significantly improve the safety culture within your organisation. This will increase the safety awareness of the workers, and as a result reduce the likelihood of accidents and unsafe occurrences.

Legislation references

  • Health & Safety at Work Act 1974
  • The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005

Types of fire extinguishers

There are 5 main types of fire extinguishers:
  1. Water
  2. CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)
  3. Foam
  4. Power
  5. Wet chemical
There are different types of fire extinguishers because they are all suitable for different types of fires. Using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can be dangerous.


Fire safety know your fire extinguishers - Water

Water fire extinguishers are not suitable for electrical fires.

Water extinguishers are suitable for:

  • Carbonaceous fires
  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Textiles

CO2 (Carbon Dioxide)

Fire safety know your fire extinguishers - Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers are particularly suitable for electrical fires. They are also suitable for flammable liquids.


Fire safety know your fire extinguishers - Foam

Foam fire extinguishers are suitable for:

  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Textiles

Specialist training is required for using foam extinguishers on flowing liquids and liquid fuels.


Fire safety know your fire extinguishers - Power

Dry powder fir extinguishers are suitable for:

  • Flammable liquids
  • Solvents
  • Petrol and other fuels
  • Metals
  • Wood
  • Paper
  • Textiles
  • Electrical

Wet chemical

Fire safety know your fire extinguishers - Wet Chemical

Wet chemical fire extinguishers are specially designed for use with cooking oil fires, such as cooking fats and veg / olive oil.

Table of fire extinguisher uses

Fire type Combustible Water CO2 Foam Powder Wet chemical
CLASS A Solids
(e.g woords, plastic, paper)
CLASS B Flammable liquids
(e.g solvents, paint, fuels)
(e.g butane, propane, LPG)
CLASS D Metals
(e.g lithium, magnesium)
Electrical Equipment
(e.g computers, servers, TV's)
CLASS F Cooking Oils
(e.g cooking fat, olive oil)
Examples of businesses that mey need this type of fire extinguisher: Schools, hospitals, shops, apartment blocks. Offics, server rooms. Schools, offices, hoterls, shops, hospitals, apartments. Outdoor locations, garages, welding workshops, forecourts. Kichens, canteens, restaurants.