Get the right fire extinguisher for your industry or business

Bulbeck Fire on 28 November 2016

What are the fire extinguisher classes in Australia?

In Australia, there are 6 classes for fire extinguishers, classes A - F. Individual fire extinguishers can be rated for a single class or multiple depending on their application. Classes dictate the type of fires against which an extinguisher can be used.

Below is a complete list of the fire classes in Australia:

  • Class A: General combustibles
  • Class B: Combustible and flammable liquids
  • Class C: Flammable gases
  • Class D: Combustible metals
  • Class E: Electrical devices and appliances
  • Class F: Cooking fats and oils

It is vital that you get the right extinguisher for your industry or business. Because extinguishers can be ineffective or even dangerous when they are used on a fire which they have not been rated against.

5 types2


Class A fires: general combustibles

General combustibles consist of basic flammable objects found in homes and businesses.

They can include:

  • Paper
  • Fabrics
  • Plastics

Examples:
Common instances of Class A fires include fires which have started due to the ignition of wastepaper baskets. Or fires that have resulted from candles or hearth embers falling onto carpets and furniture.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class A fires:


Class B fires: combustible and flammable liquids

Combustible and flammable liquids are common in homes and commercial operations.

They can include:

  • Petrol
  • Oils
  • Alcohol

Examples:
Common instances of Class B fires include ignition of petrol due to discarded cigarette butts. Or fires which have been started by sparks from commercial machinery coming into contact with oils.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class B fires:


Class C fires: flammable gases

Flammable gases are regularly used in home and commercial kitchens, garages, and workshops.

They can include:

  • Natural gas
  • Propane
  • Methane

Examples:
Class C fires can occur in kitchens or outside areas as a result of gas leaks from stoves, cooktops, or barbecue gas bottles. They can also begin due to leaks from gas-powered tools in workshops.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class C fires:

Contact Bulbeck Fire directly for information on fire extinguishers rated for Class C fires.


Class D fires: combustible metals

Fires resulting from combustible metals are less common, but they do pose a unique challenge.

Metal fires can involve the ignition of:

  • Aluminium
  • Magnesium
  • Titanium

Examples:
Generally, it takes extreme heat to ignite metals. So, fires of this type are usually confined to manufacturing plants and industrial locations where metals are being processed, moulded, and stored.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class D fires:

Contact Bulbeck Fire directly for information on fire extinguishers rated for Class D fires.


Class E fires: electrical devices and appliances

Even basic household appliances can cause fires due to wear or improper use.

Electrical fires can involve the ignition of:

  • Heaters and fans
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Electronics

Examples:
A classic example of an electrical fire is a fire caused by frayed wiring igniting carpets or curtains. They can also result from heaters being covered, or the overheating of kitchen appliances.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class E fires:


Class F fires: cooking fats and oils

Fat and oil fires typically occur in kitchens but can happen in most areas where food is prepared.

They can include ignition of:

  • Fatty build-ups
  • Cooking oils
  • Cooking fats and lard

Examples:
Cooking fires regularly take place when sparks from cook-tops encounter fatty build-ups in the ducting of commercial kitchens. Or they can start at home, due simply to an unattended and oil-filled pan.

Bulbeck fire extinguishers rated for Class F fires:

"It is vital that you choose the right extinguisher for your industry or business."

About the author

Bulbeck Fire are Australia's premier fire protection and suppression experts. Founded in 1949 we've been leading the way with innovative and reliable products for over half a decade.

For more information on fire extinguisher classes in Australia or to find out more about Bulbeck Fire products and solutions, give us a call today.

Learn more: visit our fire extinguishers page or call 1800 530 401