When using portable fire extinguishers it is vital that everyone is vigilant and any hot work is controlled. The table below shows the types of portable fire extinguishers and what to use them on.
|Extinguishing medium||Colour of panel||Where not to use|
|Water: for wood, paper, textile and solid material fires||Do not use on liquid, electrical or metal fires|
|Foam: for liquid fires||Do not use on electrical or metal|
|Powder: for liquid and electrical fires|
Specialist dry powders: for
|Do not use on metal fires unless|
M28 or L2 text is printed on extinguisher, which means it is suitable for metal fires
|Carbon dioxide: for wood, paper, textiles, gaseous, liquid and electrical fires||Do not use on metal fires|
|Wet chemical: for wood, paper, textile, cooking oil and solid material fires||Do not use on liquid, gas or electrical fires|
Note: dry powder extinguishers may be provided as well as or substituted for water, foam or carbon dioxide extinguishers. Extinguishers used to control Class 8 fires (flammable liquids) will not work on Class b fires (cooking oils) because of the high temperatures produced.
Fire extinguishers should only be used on very small fires (as a guide, no bigger than a waste paper bin) or to aid escape.