Fire Extinguisher Types – Professional Fire Service
A fire extinguisher is a very standard and extremely important piece of equipment. But not all
extinguishers are the same. That’s because not all fires are the same.
Though any type of fire can cause extensive damage and has the potential to be deadly, they can be
started by different types of fuel. Different fuel types require different types of agents or chemicals to
put them out.
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Below, we provide a general overview of the different types of fire extinguishers and the types of fires
that they are designed to put out.
• Foam and water extinguishers. These types of fire extinguishers put out fires by removing the
heat from the fire. The foam also separates the oxygen from the fire. By removing the heat and
oxygen, instead of growing, the fire is suppressed and eventually extinguished. Water and foam
fire extinguishers are meant to put out Class A fires – fires that are started by common
combustible items, such as wood, paper, or fabric.
• Carbon dioxide extinguishers. Carbon dioxide removes the oxygen from the fire, as well as the
heat, which then puts the fire out. Fire extinguishers that contain carbon dioxide are meant to
put out Class B fires, or fires that are started by flammable liquids, such as gas.
• Dry chemical extinguishers. The dry chemicals used in these types of fire extinguishers are
effective at putting out fires because they disrupt the chemical reaction that occurs within a fire.
These types of extinguishers are considered multipurpose, as they can be used to put out Class
A, B, and C fires (fires that are started by electrical wires that have overheated or sparked).
• Wet chemical extinguishers. This is one of the newest types of fire extinguishers. They wet
chemicals used within them help to remove the heat from the fire. They also prevent the fire
from reigniting because they create a barrier between the fueling agent and the oxygen. Wet
chemical extinguishers are used to put out Class K fires, or fires that are caused by grease or
• Dry powder extinguishers. Dry powder extinguishers are much like dry chemical extinguishers,
but they separate the oxygen from the fuel source, which puts out the fire. These types of
extinguishers are meant to be used to put out Class D fires (fires that are started by combustible
metals) only. They are not effective for putting out other types of fires.
• Clean agent extinguishers. Also known as halogenated extinguishers, this type of device
contains halon and halocarbon agents. They put out fires by either disrupting the chemical
reaction, removing the heat – or both – from the fire. This type of extinguisher can be used to
put out Class A, B, and C fires.
• Water mist extinguishers. As the name suggests, these extinguishers contain water, which
reduces the heat in the fire to extinguish it. They are considered an alternative to the clean
agent fire extinguisher, especially at times when contamination could be an issue. Water mist
devices can be used to put out Class A fires, but they can also be effective on Class C fires.
At Professional Fire Service, we carry all of the above-mentioned devices. We’ll help you determine
exactly which type of extinguisher you need, expertly install it for you, and ensure that it is maintained
and always in proper working order.
Contact us today to discuss all of your fire extinguisher needs!