Best 10 Fire Extinguishers
As Of July 2022
We did the
Stay Safe From Fire Hazards With The Best Fire Extinguishers
Have you ever been in a situation where you were cooking and accidentally spilt some oil on the stovetop? Have you ever had to put out a fire at home because of unexpected circumstances? Safety is very important in your home, especially while you're in the kitchen or dealing with items that can lead to fire hazards. Being better prepared in those situations by investing in a high-quality fire extinguisher can be a real lifesaver while you're waiting for the fire department to come.
Many people like having them in their car in case of accidents or emergencies as even the smallest spark can build up in seconds. In fact, it is recommended that you have an extinguisher in your car along with a first aid kit so that you're well prepared for any unforeseen scenario.
With our buying guide, you'll learn everything there is to know about the best extinguishers, including their features, cost and other valuable information. Keep reading below to gain insight into this essential home safety piece of equipment!
What is a fire extinguisher?
A home fire extinguisher is a critical home safety feature that everyone should have in their household as it gives you peace of mind that you are well prepared in case something extremely dangerous occurs. We have so many devices in the house that could malfunction in a second, so staying ahead by having a tool that can handle flames is important. When you’re outside and enjoying your fire pit, patio heater or chiminea, sparks flying around can lead to something hazardous if you’re not paying attention. But, even inside the house, our appliances like a microwave or our frying pans and deep fat fryers can lead to unexpected flames. So, purchasing an extinguisher is a reasonable and practical way to stay safe no matter what unpredictable thing happens.
How do extinguishers work?
If you've never operated an extinguisher before, they are actually very simple to use. All of them include Illustrated instructions on the aluminium body so that even if you're panicking at that moment, you can refer to those images and operate the extinguisher correctly.
The extinguisher comes with a safety pin at the top that you have to remove first. After removing the pin, you have to aim the extinguisher’s hose towards the fire starting to build up and then press down the handle to release the powder, foam, water, carbon dioxide, or spray via the hose. To ensure that there's no chance of re-ignition, approach the diminished flames to check whether it’s fully extinguished.
What to look for in a fire extinguisher?
If you want an extinguisher for your home, car or even workplace, it's important to know everything about the top features that the extinguisher should have. Considering extinguishers can be an essential item in a workplace, you must ensure that it complies with UK safety regulations. We've added a list of things to look for so that you can choose one like a professional.
The class rating is important to understand whether the extinguisher can handle a specific fire type. There are six different fire class types better suited to cover up to a certain range of fire.
- Class A: Any fire caused by paper, wood, textiles and other flammable solid objects.
- Class B: Any fire caused by liquids such as petrol, paint and more.
- Class C: Fires from flammable gases such as butane, propane and more.
- Class D: Fires caused by metals such as magnesium, aluminium and others.
- Class E: Fires caused by appliances, including microwaves and other items.
- Class F: Any fire caused while you’re cooking with oils on a pan and other kitchen equipment.
The capacity is the volume that the extinguisher can cover in terms of area. For example, the 0.5kg extinguishers can cover up to 10 square meters. Capacities can range from just 0.5 kg to over 9 kg, depending on the size of the extinguisher. However, something to remember is that you should keep your distance from the fire while operating the extinguisher to a minimum of 20m.
Size is also essential to consider because it depends on where you will be storing your extinguisher. If you want it for your home, many compact sizes even come with the mounting bracket so that you can place it on the wall. If you want it for your vehicle, investing in a smaller model will make it easier to fit it into your car boot or even your glove compartment.
Even though extinguishers may seem small, their weight could be enough to make it uncomfortable to carry when there's an emergency. So, selecting one that is lightweight, portable and effortless to pick up is essential. Some manufacturers even include a hose so that you don't have to lift the extinguisher’s whole aluminium body. These are excellent for elders or those that don't have too much arm strength to lift heavier objects.
What are the different fire extinguisher colours?
From the outside, when you see a fire extinguisher, you can’t really understand the difference between them. The aluminium body is usually red on extinguishers which is helpful to spot if the room is smoky. But, to understand their type, they use a colour-coded labelling system. A universal system that helps you recognise each type aligns with the fire safety regulations in place from the British Standard and European Standard BS EN3. There are five colours to pick from:
- Red - For Class A water extinguisher types
- Blue - For Class ABC dry powder extinguishers
- Yellow - For Class A & F wet chemical extinguishers
- Cream - For Class A & B foam extinguishers
- Black - For Class B fires & E CO2 extinguishers
What extinguisher types are available?
There are five types available in the market. Each has its functionality and is better suitable for a specific emergency. Let’s have a look at them below.
The most common for home use are the dry powder ones, also known as ABC extinguishers. You can use these for class A, B and C fires, but it is recommended that you avoid using them indoors as the chemicals may be harmful if inhaled. Powder fire extinguishers have a blue colour coding and can be quite difficult to clean up after. Most people prefer using these for electrical equipment fires, but they are versatile to use with anything from combustible materials to liquids and gases. You should not select a powder fire extinguishers if you want to handle fires with cooking oil or for equipment that is over 1000 volts.
Foam fire extinguishers are the most popular for dealing with liquids such as paint, petrol and more. These types are water-based, which makes them suitable to handle Class A materials too. Their colour-coding is cream, and you can tackle anything from wood to coal and various textiles. But, it’s recommended that you shouldn’t use this type of extinguisher with electrical equipment, oils or flammable metals. Most schools, offices and commercial buildings will either use this type or a water extinguisher.
The water fire extinguisher types are better suited for Class A fire hazards due to their water-based formula. They are either water spray or water mist types. The label colour-coding is red, and you can use it to put out fabric, wood, paper, cardboard and other similar materials. We recommend not using this type for liquids and gases, kitchen fires, or electrical equipment. All businesses and industrial buildings should have either a water extinguisher or a foam type to comply with safety regulations. The nice thing about this type is that it comes with a spray nozzle, giving you greater surface coverage in a more rapid way.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2)
These are heavy-duty and robust options mainly used for electrical fire hazards. They have a black colour label and can put out liquids too. These work by eliminating oxygen from the environment where the fire is burning, thus minimising the chances of it growing and extending. Many professional settings that have multiple appliances or highly hazardous equipment store these for emergency cases. Their wider hose makes the carbon dioxide emission sprint out faster to contain the fire before it escalates.
The wet chemical extinguishers are most commonly used for fire hazards involving cooking oil and grease. Some people like to use these for class A fires, but the foam or water types are better when dealing with textiles, paper or wood. The chemical fire extinguisher has a yellow label for colour-coding. Most restaurants or other food service industries prefer these when handling cooking with oils and other fire risk materials.
How many extinguishers should you have in your home?
To have peace of mind that you are protected from all potential fire hazards, it's recommended that you either pick one that can cover all types or have at least one to tackle each of the most threatening risks including the electrical appliances, flammable liquids and combustible materials.
A water-based extinguisher is handy to have in your household for paper, wood or fabric fires. If you're dealing with a paint job, we suggest you also invest in a dry powder or foam extinguisher. And, if you want to have stress-free handling of your appliances, purchasing a CO2 extinguisher will also be beneficial.
What is the difference between CE certified and kitemarked?
If you've browsed through the different models available, you may have seen these two terms in the product description. If your extinguisher says that it is CE certified, it means that it complies with the European Community Standards put in place after 2000. If the extinguisher states that it is kitemarked, then it has been tested by the British Standards Institute (BSI). These two indicators can give you the credibility you seek in terms of safety.
How much do fire extinguishers cost?
Fire extinguishers are mandatory safety equipment that many people require for household or commercial use. For that reason, they are affordable necessities that won't break your bank. After all, your safety shouldn't have a price tag.
The most inexpensive models can start from just £15 to £30. These are most likely going to be dry powder extinguishers or foam extinguishers suitable for household use. They are high-quality and reliable and will usually come with a warranty. Their aluminium body will be lightweight and portable, making them perfect for smaller fires. Size-wise, these will have a smaller capacity between 0.5kg to 1kg.
On the upper side of the price scale, you will find options ranging from £30 to over £60. It is more likely that you will find all types of fire extinguishers for this price, including water-based, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical ones. The capacity will also be larger, even reaching up to 9 litres. Most professionals prefer spending a little bit more on the premium ones that have increased protection from fire hazards in a larger size.
Contain any home fire that may ignite with the best home fire extinguishers. Stay protected from any unexpected hazards while you're cooking, having friends over for a cosy night around the fire pit or any other unpredictable situation.
We are optimistic that our buying guide has helped you better understand extinguishers, from their types, colour labelling, class certification and must-have features. Take some time to review our top picks and select the one that matches your wants and needs. Are you ready to do your own firefighting?