You have responsibility for the provision of appropriate firefighting equipment. To help understand the different types of fire extinguishers available and what they can be used on, below we have provided a colour chart which shows the class and colour of each fire extinguisher.
Fire Extinguisher Colour Chart
Class A: Fire involving solid materials such as wood, paper or textiles.
Class B: Fire involving flammable liquids such as petrol, diesel or oils.
Class C: Fire involving gases.
Class D: Fire involving metals.
Class F: Fire involving cooking oils such as in deep-fat fryers.
Class A fires involve solid materials, usually of organic matter such as wood, paper etc. They can be dealt with using water, foam or multi-purpose powder extinguishers, with water and foam considered the most suitable.
Class B fire involves liquids or liquefiable solids such as paint, oils or fats. It would be appropriate to provide extinguishers of foam (including multi-purpose aqueous film-forming foam (AFFF) carbon dioxide or dry powder types. Carbon dioxide extinguishers are also suitable for a fire involving electrical equipment.
The fire extinguishers currently available for dealing with Class A or B fire should not be used on cooking oil or fat fires.
Dry powder fire extinguishers may be used on Class C fires. However, you need to consider the circumstances of there use and combine this with action such as stopping the leak, to remove the risk of a subsequent explosion from the build-up of unburnt gas.
None of the extinguishers referred to above will deal effectively with a Class D fire as these involve metals such as aluminium, magnesium, sodium or potassium. Only fully trained personnel using our specialist powder fire extinguishers such as the L2 and M28 should tackle such fires.
Specials fire extinguishers are available for use on cooking fats and oils, e.g. chip pan and deep fat fryers.