How Do Water Fire Extinguishers Work? | CheckFire
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A guide to water fire extinguishers

Water fire extinguishers are the most common type of extinguisher for installation in Class A fire risk areas. But do you know when they should and shouldn’t be used, the types of premises that require one on site and how a water fire extinguisher works to combat flames? We cover all this and more, in this helpful guide.

What can water fire extinguishers be used on?

Water Fire Extinguishers are used on Class A fires – those involving flammable solids, including paper, wood and textiles. If you’re questioning ‘can water fire extinguishers be used on electrical fires’, it’s important to take note: a wholly water-based fire extinguisher comes with a strict warning that it shouldn’t be used on electrical fires. That’s because water can act as a conductor of electricity, and may result in electrocution. Should water fire extinguishers be used on flammable liquids? No, a water fire extinguisher should never be used on Class B (involving flammable liquids), Class C (flammable gases) or Class F (cooking oil and grease) fires either.

How do water fire extinguishers work?

Water has a cooling effect on the temperature of the fire, making it impossible for the fire to burn and eventually extinguishing the flames. Water fire extinguishers are equipped with a spray nozzle rather than a jet nozzle, meaning the water is able to quickly cover a much greater surface area, in order to rapidly put out the fire.

How are water fire extinguishers identified?

The canister of a water fire extinguisher has a white-coloured label that clearly states ‘Water’ running along the top of it. There should also be a fire extinguisher ID sign fixed directly above it to advise the type of fire extinguisher, and the classes of fire it can and cannot be used on.

Where are water fire extinguishers most suitable for use?

Water fire extinguishers are most commonly required in buildings made of wood or organic materials, or premises that house large quantities of these combustible materials. Hospitals, schools and offices would benefit from having a water fire extinguisher on site, as well as warehouses and storage units.

Want to know more about water fire extinguishers? Shop our extensive range of water fire extinguishers. Alternatively, download our simple-view extinguisher guide, or speak to a member of our expert team.

The content of the CheckFire blog is for general information purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, under no circumstances should it be considered professional advice. Any reliance you place on the information is at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a fire professional for your particular circumstances and requirements.

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