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A guide to water fire extinguishers


Water fire extinguishers contain either plain water or water with an additive and are used mainly on fires involving material such as wood, paper, cardboard and fabrics. In this handy guide, we explain how this type of extinguisher works, when it should and shouldn't be used and which premises would benefit from one.

Which type of fire should a water fire extinguisher be used on?

This type of fire extinguisher is one of the most common fire extinguishers. Water fire extinguishers are suitable for Class 'A' fires (Fires involving solid materials, Usually of organic nature in which combustion normally takes place with the formation of glowing embers). Some water spray fire extinguishers carry a 35 kV dielectric test approval which means they have been tested on a 35,000 Volt electrical source at one meter. It should be noted that the dielectric test approval is in the event the fire extinguisher is accidently used on an electrical source. Water fire extinguisher are not deemed suitable for Class 'B' fires (flammable liquids), Class 'C' fires (Flammable gases), Class 'F' fires (Cooking Oils) or Class 'D' fires (Flammable metals)

How many water fire extinguishers do i require?

The British Standard BS5306-8:2012 is the document used to calculate the amount of 'A' Class fire extinguishers required. Contact us to book a survey of your premises to ensure you have the required amounts. 

How does a water fire extinguisher work?

When the fire extinguisher is operated the water is either released in a jet or spray. It extinguishes a fire by cooling the material preventing reignition. 

How is a water fire extinguisher identified?

The canister has a red body and a red banner running along the top section, which labels it water. They have a hose which attached to the side or base of the extinguisher. Water extinguishers are supplied in various sizes which range from 3 litre, 6 litre and the larger 9 litre variants. 

You can also purchase water fire extinguishers in the following colours - Polished Silver, Antique Copper and Polished Gold

Where is a water fire extinguisher most suitable for use?

This type of fire extinguisher is most suited to settings which have a large amount of 'A' Class fire risks. Offices, Schools, Care homes and warehouses would benefit from having them on site because of the volume of 'A' class risk present in the building. Fire extinguishers should always be either fixed to the wall or placed an a fire extinguisher stand. They cannot be left floor standing as stated in the British Standards. 

How to use a water fire extinguisher

Pick up the fire extinguisher and identify the safety pin located in the handle. Pull and twist the safety pin which will break the plastic seal. When the pin has been removed from the handle pull the hose away from the base or side fitting. Aim the hose towards the base of the fire and sweep it from side to side until the fire is extinguished.

Always keep an eye on the area in case the fire re-ignites.

Think this type of extinguisher is suitable for your premises? View our extensive range of water extinguishers now. Alternatively, download our simple-view fire extinguisher guide

This advice does not replace the need for fire extinguisher training