What kind of fire extinguisher is best for your work site?


What kind of fire extinguisher is best for your work site?


Fires can happen in every environment . So, how can you ensure workplace safety? You need the appropriate fire extinguisher according to your common workplace hazards (make sure your workers can recognize various hazards with Know the Code: Using the NFPA's Fire Diamond to Assess Hazards).

There are several different fire extinguishers to address the wide variety of fire hazards. The five main types of fire extinguishers suppress specific types of fires (see Fire Prevention Week for more fire safety tips):

  • Use water fire extinguishers for fires involving common elements such as wood, straw, paper, or coal.
  • You can use foam fire extinguishers on the same types of fires as water fire extinguishers. But, they also work against flammable liquids such as petrol and paint.
  • CO2 (carbon dioxide) fire extinguishers are best suited for electrical hazards. They can be effective against flammable liquids as well.
  • Powder or multi-purpose fire extinguishers are an excellent option for worksites with several different types of fire hazards. They're ideal for a combination of hazards including flammable liquids, gas fires, and electrical fires.
  • Wet chemical fire extinguishers fight very specific fire hazards. These hazards may include cooking oils and fats used in kitchens. But, this type of fire extinguisher can also suppress fires caused by wood, straw, paper, and coal.

You can combine some of these extinguisher types to combat more than one type of fire. This provides more effective coverage when considering a variety of fire hazards.

It's important to assess the size of your worksite, as well as your potential fire hazards. Then, you can determine the appropriate number and types of extinguishers for your needs.

Have a question? Ask Erin here.

View all questions from Erin Flannery.

Share this:
Written by Erin Flannery
Profile Picture of Erin Flannery

My name is Erin Flannery and I am a third-generation Owner and Vice President of B-
Lann Equipment.

My grandfather and grandmother started this business many years ago. My grandfather was the captain of the fire department right here in Troy NY. In order to supplement their income, they would fill fire extinguishers at night and on the weekend—right from their kitchen table.

It’s always been a true family business. My father, uncle and aunt all worked here over the years. As they were getting ready to move on to the next phase of their lives
(retirement), my cousin and I stepped in to take over.

I’ve been here with B-Lann for about 6 years now. I’m constantly learning new safety
rules and regulations and what new items are available to meet those requirements. I’ve devoted quite some time to understanding not only personal protective clothing, but also gas meters, fire suppression systems and facility safety items.

I’ve acquired my Associates Degree in Business from Bryant and Stratton College. I’ve also attended many training classes through the Safety Marketing Group (SMG). We are, in fact, a founding member of SMG. The additional training from SMG has enabled me to further my knowledge on personal protective equipment (PPE) choices and the importance of PPE in the safety world. I am currently working on my Safety Equipment Expert (SEE) Certification. The training includes OSHA 10 hour and OSHA 8-hour classes, along with Solution Based Sales training and various training classes from our Manufacturers.

My role here at B-Lann is difficult to pinpoint to one particular task. I am responsible for a sales territory covering five counties in Upstate New York. While this alone keeps me busy, I am also tasked with overseeing Human Resources, and being the point person for our advertising and marketing campaigns. I am also working on developing and maintaining our website and Safety Program to keep them up-to- date with industry trends.

In my spare time I like to read, knit and spend time with my 3 grandchildren, Aubrey (4 years old), Kaycee (2 years old) and Kyle (2 years old). They are the light of my life. I also spend time with my husband Mark, camping fishing and kayaking.

  Full Bio