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What type of extinguisher would you use on an electrical fire? 40% of people don’t know!

Posted on Dec 20, 2017


Do you know what type of fire extinguisher would be best suited to an electrical fire? Nearly 40% of construction workers have no idea!

A survey of construction workers recently commissioned by Bull Products has revealed that the wrong type of fire extinguishers is being used, revealing that 10% of workers would use a foam extinguisher to stop an electrical fire.

The foam extinguishers should be used on paper, wood, cloth, or plastic fires, as well as flammable liquids like paraffin, petrol and oil. 27% revealed they would use an ABC powder extinguisher, used for Class A, B, C fires: solids, flammable liquids and flammable gases, respectively.

Both these extinguishers are dangerous in small, confined spaces as they pose a risk of powder inhalation. Both Power and Foam extinguishers might cause further damage where the appropriate extinguisher would not.

Bradley Markham, director at Bull Products, which specialises in developing life safety equipment for the industry said:

Each year, there are 40,000 fires in the workplace, which can put the lives of workers at risk but using the wrong type of fire extinguisher can also have major consequences. Not only can it maximise the spread of a fire, it can cause major damage to a site and equipment, thus costing companies millions of pounds to repair the damage.

On an electrical fire, a C02 fire extinguisher is the safest option as it leaves no residue and is an ideal solution for extinguishing fires involving electrical appliances as it does not cause damage to the site.

Using the correct fire safety equipment is of utmost importance, and it’s crucial that health and safety managers train workers so that everyone on site is aware and understand what type of fire extinguishers to use and in what situation.

8% of managers, supervisors and health and safety managers/officers do not know which fire extinguisher should be used, a further 7% did not understand the universal colour-coding system!

We offer Fire Safety Courses, required by the Fire Safety Order 2005 which states that by law construction sites must have a person responsible for general fire safety practices. This could be a Fire Safety course, or a Fire warden / marshal course with extinguishers. Call us on 0800 160 1722 for more information on workplace safety courses.