fire extinguisher,fire equipment,Fire Extinguisher Types
fire extinguisher,fire equipment,Fire Extinguisher TypesShopping cart

Foam Fire Extinguishers And Their Uses

Fire extinguisher,Fire Extinguisher Types, Extinguishers


Fire extinguishers are life-saving devices and are therefore a legal requirement, providing an integral element of fire safety provisions for every building in Australia. In addition to buildings, fire extinguishers are also ideal to have around the home and in cars in cases of emergencies. From Water, Foam, Carbon Dioxide, Dry Chemical, Wet Chemical and Metal fire extinguishers, there are wide range of fire extinguishers available that are suitable for the various Classes of fires. Explaining the different types of fire extinguishers and their most appropriate applications is a lengthy process, so for the sake of simplicity, this article will focus on foam fire extinguishers and the most appropriate uses for this type of extinguisher.


Foam fire extinguishers have undertaken a radical transformation over the past few decades. During the 1950’s, the first synthetic foam based concentrates gained significant exposure in dealing with various types of fire extinguishing. From there, alcohol resistant protein foam concentrates were produced in the early 1960’s followed by Fluoroprotein foam concentrates in the 1970’s. After this time, technology permitted foam fire extinguishers to be comprised of a mixture of alcohol resistant, gel and aqueous film forming protein concentrates. Originally consisting of a thick and gooey texture that had an awful smell due to high animal protein content, foam fire extinguishers now provide an effective solution for extinguishing various Classes of fires. New and further developments in raw materials and technology will continue to enable more effective fire extinguishing foams at considerably reduced induction rates.


Before we delve into the different applications for foam fire extinguishers, it’s important to understand the different type of Classes of fires. The following list illustrates each of the six different Classes of fires:


Class A – Fires involving solids such as wood, plastic, paper, textiles and fabrics

Class B – Fires involving flammable liquids such as petrol, oil, cleaning products and paraffin

Class C – Fires involving flammable gasses such as butane, methane and propane (gas

barbeque cylinders for example)

Class D – Fires involving metals such as titanium, aluminium and magnesium (usually used in

laboratories and factories)

Class E – Fires involving electrical equipment such as TVs, computers and kitchen appliances

Class F – Fires involving cooking oils and fats (commercial kitchens)


It’s important to note at this point, that all fire extinguishers should be certified and approved by AS/NZS 1841.4.


Foam fire extinguishers are suitable for both Class A and Class B fires and are similar to Water fire extinguishers, however are more versatile and slightly more expensive. Class A and B fires consist of solid combustible materials and flammable liquids which are very common types of fires, so foam fire extinguishers are commonly used in buildings, households, and cars. The layer of foam used in these types of extinguishers also helps to prevent re-ignition after the fire has been extinguished. Foam fire extinguishers are effective for Class A and B fires due to combination of rapid smothering and cooling. On the other hand, foam fire extinguishers are not suitable for fires involving electrical equipment and other Classes of fires except for Classes A and B. Foam fire extinguishers are distinguished by a blue band at the top of the extinguisher and are available in different sizes to cater for various applications and requirements.


It just takes some common sense to understand that fire protection and safety is extremely important topic, so careful consideration should be taken when deciding on what types of fire extinguishers are suitable for various applications. Foam fire extinguishers are very popular as they are suitable for the most common types of fires, Classes A and B. Significant research and development has been performed over the past few decades to produce an extremely effective and powerful fire extinguishing agent that is used in foam fire extinguishers today. If you need to purchase a foam fire extinguisher for your workplace, home, or car, contact King Fire Protection Services on 1300 344 966 or visit their website: