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What Is a Foam Fire Extinguisher Used For?

Foam Fire Extinguisher

What do you need to know about Foam Fire Extinguishers?

Of the five different fire extinguisher types, the foam fire extinguisher is probably the one that we’re most familiar with.

The favourite of slapstick comedies, and the most visually impressive, it’s the fire extinguisher that we see most on stage and screen. But it’s really important to remember that each fire extinguisher type is created for a specific purpose. So, what is a foam fire extinguisher used for? And what else do you need to know about these integral pieces of fire safety equipment?


What is a foam fire extinguisher?

Distinguished by its cream-coloured label, the foam fire extinguisher contains water, foam concentrate, and air. When combined at pressure – when forced through the extinguisher’s release funnel – the ingredients create a thick, aqueous foam that both cools and smothers flames.

Where would you use a Foam fire extinguisher? 

Foam fire extinguishers were designed for use on Class A and Class B fires. Class A fires are those lit on solids, such as paper, wood, and furniture. Class B fires are those ignited on flammable liquids, including fuels, solvents, and paint.

The only drawback to using this type of extinguisher is that it can be messy. Foam fire extinguishers will leave a residue after use.

Types of Fire Extinguisher Foam

What business types need a Foam fire extinguisher?

Because Class A and Class B fires are the most common, there are very few businesses that won’t require a foam fire extinguisher. From hospitals and care homes, to shops, hotels, and schools.


Do Foam fire extinguishers have expiry dates?

All fire extinguishers degrade over time. So, although foam fire extinguishers are not supplied with a fixed expiry date, they will all come with a manufacturing date. This can be found on the main body of the extinguisher. As a rough guide, most foam fire extinguishers will need to be replaced every 10 years, dependent on storage and use. You can read more about that here.


Do I need to service my Foam fire extinguisher?


Yes, all fire extinguishers including foam extinguishers require regular maintenance. This includes:

  • Monthly visual inspection– Once a month your designated fire warden should perform a visual inspection to ensure that all of your fire extinguishers remain undamaged.
  • Basic annual service– You are legally required to have your fire extinguishers professionally tested and serviced once a year, this should be with a BAFE accredited contractor to get the highest standard of service, which all of our engineers at 1st Class Fire Protection are accredited with.
  • Extended Service– You are also legally obliged to arrange for your powder fire extinguishers to have an in-depth professional service, with most extinguishers needing this done every every five years. This involves completely discharging the extinguisher, checking for internal corrosion, refilling and repressurising. It can be cheaper to purchase a new extinguisher.


What are the other fire extinguishers?

There are four other fire extinguisher types:

Wet Chemical – [Yellow] – Created for use on Class F fires only – those ignited on fats and oils.

CO2 – [Black] – Devised for use on flammable liquid fires and electrical equipment.

Powder – [Blue] – Created for use on fires ignited on solids, flammable liquids, metals, electrical equipment, and gasses.

Water – [Red] – Only suitable for use on fires ignited on solids, such as paper, plastic, and wood.


Having the right fire extinguishers in the right place can prevent fire damage, reduce expense, save businesses, and save lives.


For a free estimate for all of your fire extinguisher needs in your workplace, please get in touch with 1st Class Fire Protection today either on 01603 742741 or request a call back with our expert team.

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