Which Fire Extinguisher Should You Be Using?

When there is a fire, people always turn to the nearest fire extinguisher, however, there are times when they may make the situation worse.

In some cases, a fire extinguisher should not be used at all. In fact, you should use a fire blanket on a fire. You may read this and you may think that a fire will make matters worse.  You can find more details on Fire extinguishers through http://www.tmservicesltd.co.uk/.

Read on to find out more about fire extinguishers and when they should be used.


Fire extinguishers come in different colors. There was a time when the entire fire extinguisher was made in different colors. However, now, all fire extinguishers are red but have different colored stickers on them.

The different colors are:

  • red
  • yellow (two)
  • blue (two)
  • black

The different colors represent the different contents of the fire extinguisher. If you have an extinguisher that has a red label on it, the extinguisher contains water. With a yellow label, it may contain foam or a wet chemical, the black label contains carbon dioxide and finally, the blue label contains dry powder or M28/L2.


A red fire extinguisher containing water can only be used to extinguish wood, paper, or textile fires. Water cannot be used on any other type of fire because it makes the fire worse.

Foam / wet chemical

If you have a fire extinguisher with a yellow label on it, you will have to check the content label before using it on fire. This is because the yellow label can represent two different things.

However, the other yellow label indicates a chemical that is wet and can quench the same as water, with cooking oil and fat added. If this is used on flammable liquids, the fire will be worse. So, be sure to check the yellow canister you have before you try to put out the fire.

Carbon Dioxide

Carbon dioxide extinguishers, with black labels, can be used on flammable liquid fires and electrical equipment fires, and nothing else. As mentioned above, this is the best option for electrical fires although you can use dry powder extinguishers.

Fire blankets

For fires involving cooking oils and fats, fire blankets can be used to cut off the oxygen and put out the flames. These blankets can also be used in the evacuation, to get around people if they have to walk near a fire to get out of the building.