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Water Fire Extinguishers

Need help? Need help? What should you use Water Fire Extinguishers on? UK Approved Water Fire Extinguisher From The Safety Pros

Water fire extinguishers, also known as ‘Class A’ extinguishers, were one of the first types of fire extinguishers developed, and as such are commonly found in a wide variety of settings. Although these are the most economical extinguishers available, standard water extinguishers are more limited in their application and are typically only suitable for fires involving flammable solids.

As such, they are most often found in non-commercial settings or in commercial settings with a low risk of liquid or chemical fires. They are easy to use and can work rapidly and effectively if used on the appropriate material.

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What are Water Fire Exitinguishers Used For?


Water fire extinguishers are best used on fires involving flammable solids, such as wood, paper, textiles or other combustible materials. As such, whilst they are less common in commercial kitchen settings, they will commonly be found in areas where large quantities of combustible materials are stored, such as warehouses, textile factories or construction sites.

Smaller to medium sized water fire extinguishers may also be found in domestic settings, particularly in spaces with a fireplace or any type of open fire and are also usually found in offices. As water fire extinguishers do not usually contain any chemical solutions, they have a much lower environmental impact compared to other types of extinguishers.
When displaying your extinguisher it is a legal requirement to have adequate identification signage clearly showing what type the extinguisher is, we supply a range of Water Fire Extinguisher Kits that come with all the necessary signage to ensure you comply with health and safety regulations in the workplace.

When not to use a water fire extinguisher?

Water fire extinguishers have a somewhat limited range of uses and it is just as important to know when not to use them, as such they should never be used on fires involving the following materials:

  • Electrical Fires: Using water fire extinguishers on electrical fires is highly dangerous and could result in electrocution for the user or those in the surrounding area. To fight these fires, use CO2 Fire Extinguishers.

  • Cooking Oil Fires: Water reacts poorly with flaming oils, causing them to spit and splash. Using water on these types of fires is highly dangerous for anyone in the immediate area and can cause the fire to spread quickly. Store a Fire Blanket nearby or in the kitchen to ensure these fires canbe tackled when they occur.

  • Flammable Liquids and Gases: Water based fire extinguishers should never be used on fires involving flammable liquids, such as petrol and paint, or on flammable gases, such as butane or other gases.


If you think you could be at risk of any fires involving these materials, it is advisable to combine a water fire extinguisher with a separate CO2 extinguisher.

How does a water fire extinguisher work?

Water fire extinguishers are essentially large tanks of water that have been compressed with air. When the handle is pulled, they produce a high-pressure jet of water which saturates the flaming material. This produces an instant cooling effect and deprives the fire of the heat and oxygen needed to burn. Water fire extinguishers generally have a long, flexible hose, with a narrow nozzle which allows the stream of water to be accurately directed to the base of the fire. Once saturated, the affected material cannot reignite.

How do you use a water fire extinguisher?

Water fire extinguishers are very simple to operate. Standing a good distance away from the fire, the user should simply remove the safety pin, squeeze the handle firmly, and point the nozzle at the base of the fire, continuing to spray until the affected area is entirely covered in water and the fire is completely out.

How to identify water fire extinguishers?

Water fire extinguishers are identifiable by a large white label on them stating ‘Water’, and will generally have a medium length, flexible hose with a small nozzle.

FAQs


Is a Water Extinguisher a Good Fire Extinguisher for Wood and Paper?

A water fire extinguisher can be safely used on flammable solids, and so is a very good fire extinguisher for wood and paper, along with fabrics and textiles. This is why they can be useful in warehouses and other storage areas.

Can Water Fire Extinguishers Be Used on Flammable Liquids?

No, a water extinguisher should not be used on petrol or oil fires, or any fire involving flammable liquids. For these types of fires, you will need a Class B fire extinguisher, such as a dry powder extinguisher, or a CO2 fire extinguisher. Water fire extinguishers do not generally make good kitchen fire extinguishers, as it may be necessary to put out oil fires in a kitchen.

Are Water Fire Extinguishers Good Construction Site Fire Extinguishers?

Water fire extinguishers can make good construction site fire extinguishers as they are suitable for use on flammable solids, such as wood. It is, however, important not to use them on any fire that may be electrical in origin, or involve a flammable liquid or gas. Some construction site fire extinguisher bundles come with both a powder and water fire extinguisher.

Is a Water Fire Extinguisher Class A?

Water fire extinguishers are sometimes known as Class A fire extinguishers and can be used on any Class A fire. A Class A fire is a fire that consists of ordinary combustible material such as paper and wood, as opposed to fires caused by flammable liquids and gases, or electrical malfunctions. Class A fires are the most common types of fires, and generally produce ash, as the combustible materials burn up.

Do I need Water Fire Extinguishers in my Business?

Water fire extinguishers can be very useful, but it is important to do a risk assessment to ascertain if they are the best fire extinguishers for your business premises. You may find that you need a water fire extinguisher alongside another type of extinguisher, such as a foam fire extinguisher or dry powder extinguisher. You may also need other fire safety equipment, such as fire blankets.

Which Are the Best Water Fire Extinguishers for My Business?

This will depend on your circumstances, but here are some of our popular water fire extinguishers and fire kits that you may find useful on your business premises:

  • Seton Water Fire Extinguisher – This excellent and affordable Class A fire extinguisher is supplied fully charged and complete with brackets for easy mounting.

  • Construction Site Fire Extinguisher Bundle – Comes with both a powder and water fire extinguisher to deal with different types of construction site fires. Includes a robust trolley with rubber wheels and an electronic howler or rotary hand bell to raise the alarm.

  • Warehouse Fire Safety Bundle Kit – Includes water and powder fire extinguishers and absorbent sand, along with a fire bucket, first aid kit and appropriate signage.

  • Chrome Effect Water Fire Extinguishers – Highly polished chrome-effect water fire extinguishers with squeeze-grip operation and protective plastic base. Supplied with wall-mounting brackets, these extinguishers are refillable after use.


Here at Seton, we have a range of water fire extinguishers and other fire safety equipment available. If you have any questions, feel free to call us and ask our friendly experts for advice.