A fire extinguisher can be a great aid if fire breaks out. But beware, as it can also be a hazard if you use the wrong type of extinguisher on a particular fire.
If you have a premises that is serving food or using open flame as part of your business, you may find that your insurance documents actually stipulate what kind of extinguisher you must have in your kitchen or on-site.
There is a British standard for fire extinguishers (BSEN3) and all of these are red with a coloured band around them, to show what kind of extinguisher they are and when you should use them. For illustrations, take a look at this page:
A company like Keloscape, a qualified fire risk assessor in Gloucester, would also be able to help you select the correct type of fire extinguisher for your business.
Powder fire extinguishers
These are for general use in an ordinary environment, but they’re also the only really effective extinguisher for fires where flammable gas is involved.
These are good for fires involving solid materials, such as wood, but they are also very effective on fires caused by flammable liquids. The foam is excellent at stopping the fire reigniting after it has been put out.
Again, these can be used on fires caused by flammable liquids, but they are absolutely essential if you have a fire that involves electrical equipment. If you have a fire in a retail environment, for example, this may be a good choice of extinguisher, because it doesn’t leave a residue behind.
Don’t use these for electrical fires, but they can be used for solid materials such as textiles, paper or wood.
Wet chemical fire extinguishers (class F)
if you run a hospitality business, your insurance may specify that you must have one of these in your kitchen. This is because they are excellent at tackling burning oil, such as a deep fat fryer that is on fire. A qualified fire risk assessor in Gloucester can advise where to source these.
Water mist extinguisher
A new type of product that cools the fire, then suffocates it and then cools the item that was burning. It uses a very fine spray of water. It can be useful for several different types of risk.