Learn About Fire Extinguishers with Fire Safety Store - Water Fire Extinguishers

by Curtis Worthington
Learn About Fire Extinguishers with Fire Safety Store - Water Fire Extinguishers

Learn About Fire Extinguishers with Fire Safety Store

The Water Fire Extinguisher

Water fire extinguishers are suitable for a wide range of situations, both commercially and in the home. We have compiled a quick and handy guide to explain what Water Fire Extinguishers do, and when they should be used.

We are the Fire Safety Store and your safety is our number one priority. The first step to safety is to be aware of the risks; the second step to safety is having the equipment to combat them. This series of articles is all about the second step to safety. Once you have identified a fire risk in your property, having the right extinguisher to hand is the best way to maximise your personal safety and minimise any property losses. Each type of extinguisher has its own distinct properties and specialisms and we hope this guide will help you find the one which is right for you.

Why Choose A Water Fire Extinguisher?

The Short Answer:

  • Excellent against Class A fires
  • Cheap
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Easy clean-up


The Long Answer:

Fires are divided into different classes by fuel source. The most common class of fire is the Class A fire, which is a fire burning a solid fuel like plastic, soft furnishings or paper. Almost every home and business contains a number of potential sources of a Class A fire. A water extinguisher is specifically rated to tackle Class A fires and at a cheaper price than most other kinds of extinguisher. Water fire extinguishers are also the most environmentally friendly type of extinguisher, and unlike several of the other kinds of extinguisher, like the foam or dry powder fire extinguisher, requires no specialist gear for clean-up after use. Water fire extinguishers work by cooling the heated fuel, removing the heat element of what is known as the fire tetrahedron. Composed of heat, oxygen, fuel and a chemical reaction, if any one or more of these parts are removed, the fire will be put out.

Who Benefits Most From Having A Water Fire Extinguisher?

Water fire extinguishers are suitable for a wide range of situations, both commercially and in the home. Examples include warehouses, retail units, and libraries. Anywhere with large amounts of soft furnishings or paperwork is a prime candidate for a water fire extinguisher. Hotels, schools, and public places are often advised to have water fire extinguishers installed. Sprinkler systems have become very popular in recent years but it is important to note that these do not constitute a replacement for a fire extinguisher. Sprinkler systems are usually programmed to go off at a temperature above 57 degrees Celsius. By the time a fire is strong enough to raise the ambient temperature to such an extent, there is likely to have been significant property damage. A well-placed fire extinguisher can remove the problem quickly and efficiently as soon as the outbreak is noticed.

What Kinds Of Water Fire Extinguisher Are Available?

Water fire extinguishers come in many forms of sizes, each recognisable as a water fire extinguisher by the completely red canister and the label ‘WATER’ on the side panel. In situations where there is doubt, there should also be a fire extinguisher ID sign positioned nearby.

The two main types of fire extinguisher available commercially are the water jet fire extinguisher and the water mist fire extinguisher.

The water jet fire extinguisher is the most common variety. As the name would suggest, the extinguisher releases a jet of pressurised water to extinguish the fire. Water jet extinguishers should never be used near electrical appliances due to the risk of electric shock. Some water jet extinguishers are referred to as water additive extinguishers- these extinguishers usually have anti-freezing compounds added to enable the extinguisher to be used in outdoor or cold environments, or chemicals to increase the cooling ability of the water. Here at Fire Safety Store we stock several high quality water fire extinguishers, freeze-protected water fire extinguishers and water additive fire extinguishers in 6 and 9l sizes. Each of our carefully selected extinguishers comes with a wall mounting bracket and a 5-year guarantee. If you think a water fire extinguisher could be the right fit for your home or business, give our trained advisors a call on 0800 3160890.

Water mist extinguishers are a newer version of water fire extinguishers. They release a pressurised mist of very fine de-ionised water particles. These act the same way as a water jet extinguisher, but because the mist is non-conductive, they do not present a shock hazard, unlike the water jet variety.

Maintaining a Water Fire Extinguisher:

Any fire extinguisher needs to be installed and maintained properly in order to be of use in an emergency. Successful maintenance begins with correct commissioning and installation of your fire extinguisher by a BAFE certified professional. It should be installed 30m from a specific hazard, or at designated safety points in a large building. If you are unsure where to place your extinguishers for maximum safety, please contact our advisors. We are part of a national network of qualified site surveyors and maintenance professionals.

Maintenance You Can Perform Personally

Maintenance Which Should Be Carried Out Professionally

Once a month you should perform a visual inspection to determine the following:

  • That the pin in the handle has not been tampered with
  • That there are no dents in the canister
  • That there are no signs of leakage
  • That there are no signs of damage or corrosion around the seals
  • That where applicable the pressure dial remains in the green
  • It is a legal requirement for a yearly maintenance inspection to be carried out on your extinguisher by a professional. They will run through a maintenance checklist and sign the paperwork required for your insurance
  • Every five years your water extinguisher should be completely emptied and refilled.
  • If your water fire extinguisher has been used, even partially, it should be fully discharged and refilled at your earliest opportunity


How to Tackle a Fire with a Water Fire Extinguisher:

When a fire breaks out it is important to first determine whether it is small enough to be extinguished using a fire extinguisher. In any circumstances the fire and rescue services should be notified, and any extraneous personnel evacuated. The PASS acronym is used to remember the standard steps for tackling a fire with a fire extinguisher:

P- Pull the pin from the handle to release the lock.

A- Aim the hose at the base of the flames to ensure that the water reaches the fuel.

S- Squeeze the handle to release the water. Keep the pressure steady and be mindful that an extinguisher has only a limited charge.

S- Sweep the hose from side to side to soak the fuel completely.