Types Of Fire Extinguishers NZ
New Zealand fire extinguisher types differ from those found around the world. It is essential that you are familiar which fire extinguisher is suitable for each class of fire. It’s simple to identify the type of fire extinguisher by the band of colour marked around the top of the cylinder.
The five main types of fire extinguishers found in NZ are:
- Aqueous Film-Forming Foam
- Carbon Dioxide
- Dry Chemical Powder
- Wet Chemical
Dry Chemical – White Band
Dry Powder type extinguishers remove the chemical reaction of fire. In this category, the multi-purpose Dry Powder extinguisher is the most used due to it is beneficial on Class A, Class B, and Class E fires. This is an excellent extinguisher because it creates a barrier between the oxygen and fuel elements on Class A fires.
Further information is available in our article All About Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
Carbon Dioxide – Black Band
CO2 fire extinguishers take away the oxygen from fire and remove the heat with a cold discharge. The Carbon Dioxide fire extinguisher is an excellent option on Class B and E fires. It is not useful on Class A fires.
Carbon dioxide is a natural component of the atmosphere and is also regarded as environmentally acceptable.
Further information is available in our article All About Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers
Foam – Blue Band
Our foam fire extinguisher types are great for Class A and B fires. They are most suited to extinguishing liquid fires such as petrol or diesel. The foam extinguishes liquid flames by sealing the surface of the liquid, preventing flammable vapour reaching the air and starving the combustion of fuel. Foam extinguishers can only fight Class A and Class B fires. If used on Class E fires, it will create a shock hazard.
Fluorine-free foam shows results of around 97% degraded after 14 days, therefore is a better option.
Further information is available in our article All About Foam Fire Extinguishers
Water – No Band
These types of fire extinguisher eliminate a fire by allowing water to take away the heat component of fire.
Water extinguishers should only be used on Class A fires (Combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and also plastics). Utilizing these fire extinguisher types on Class B (flammable liquid or gas or paint), the discharge could help spread the flammable liquid or gas. If used on a Class E fire (electrical equipment), it could create a shock hazard.
Further information is available in our article All About Water Fire Extinguishers
Wet Chemical – Oatmeal Beige Band
A Wet Chemical extinguisher extinguishes a fire by removing heat and preventing barriers between oxygen and fuel so a flame cannot be re-ignited.
Wet Chemicals are Class F (examples: cooking oils, greases, animal fat, vegetable fat) Extinguishers. This extinguisher is a must-have if you are in the commercial cooking industry. It is possible to use Wet Chemical extinguishers on Class A Fires as well. Dangerous if used on live electrical equipment.
While contact is not harmful it may irritate your eyes and also your skin.
It is also a common sight to see fire blankets alongside wet chemical fire extinguishers in commercial kitchens.
Fire Extinguisher Types And Their Uses