Water fire extinguishers are the most common type of extinguisher for installation in Class A fire risk areas. In this helpful guide, we explain all about how a water extinguisher works to combat flames, when it should and shouldn’t be used and the types of premises that would benefit most from having one on site.
Which type of fire should water fire extinguishers be used on?
This type of extinguisher is used on Class A fires – those involving flammable solids, including paper, wood and textiles. A wholly water-based fire extinguisher, however, 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 so it’s extremely dangerous. 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?
The water has a cooling effect, which lowers the temperature of the fire when sprayed on it. This makes it impossible for the fire to burn and the flames are eventually extinguished.
How are water fire extinguishers identified?
The canister has a red body with a white-coloured label that clearly states ‘water’ running along the top of it.
Where are water fire extinguishers most suitable for use?
They’re 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 extinguisher on site as well as warehouses and storage units.