Choosing the Right Fire Extinguisher, and Ensuring it Works Correctly

As an electrical contractor servicing Snowy Mountains homes and businesses, we recommend having the right type of fire extinguisher on hand to keep you and your family, guests, customers or staff protected. This chart from Fire Safety Australia provides a comprehensive visual guide

Types of Fire Extinguishers

  • Water Extinguishers (Red Band): For extinguishing common combustible materials like wood, paper, fabrics etc. Not for use on electrical or cooking oil/fat fires.
  • Foam Extinguishers (Blue Band): Also for common combustible materials. The foam helps separate oxygen from the fuel. Avoid electrical or metal fires.
  • Dry Chemical Powder Extinguishers (White Band): Effective on most fire types, including electrical, flammable liquid and gas fires. Powder smothers and breaks the fire chain reaction.
  • Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers (Black Band): Specialised for electrical fires as the CO2 displaces oxygen and removes heat. Also safe for sensitive equipment. Avoid inhaling the gas.
  • Wet Chemical Extinguishers (Oatmeal Band): Designed for hot cooking oil/fat fires common in commercial kitchens. Cools grease and forms a protection layer.

Proper Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

  • Check pressure gauges monthly – the needle should be in the operable range.
  • Physically inspect extinguishers for damage/leakage periodically. Replace over 10 years old.
  • Test extinguisher nozzle flow yearly – a short burst should discharge easily.
  • Have professional servicing done every 5 years for larger extinguishers, replacing dry powder.

Following the manufacturer guidelines and Australian Standards for installation, inspection, testing and maintenance ensures your fire extinguishers will function properly when faced with an emergency fire situation.

This is not a DIY job. All planning, installation, testing and maintenance of your fire extinguishers and other fire protection equipment should be conducted by a properly experienced and licensed technician, such as our team at Sea 2 Sky.

Call us today to discuss installing and maintaining the right fire extinguishers for your potential hazard.