Water fire extinguishers are designed for use on organic fires only. Since water is a primary destructive source for fires, it would seem that water fire extinguishers would be suitable for all kinds of fires. If they were filled only with water, this might be true. Water fire extinguishers are filled with water and compressed oxygen. This means that if you use it on the wrong type of fire you will spread the fire faster because of the oxygen in the tank.
Water fire extinguishers should never be used on grease fires. This is the perfect way to turn a small grease fire into a roaring kitchen fire within seconds. Grease fires, if they cannot be covered and deprived of the necessary oxygen, should be put out with foam, dry powder, or Co2 extinguishers.
In the UK and many surrounding countries, water fire extinguishers come in bright red to make them distinguishable from other fire extinguishers. These types of fire safety equipment are often useful in boats and RVs, or anywhere that a campfire might turn into more than a small controlled bon fire.
They are also useful for the garden as most outdoor fires are generally started through organic means. Barns, school rooms, or places like storage units and attics can be a good location for storing water fire extinguishers. If you place these fire extinguishers in your attic or storage area, make sure that you are not storing chemicals in the same area, as you cannot use this type of extinguisher on chemically based fires. You should not be storing chemicals inside the home, anyway as this is a fire hazard.
Many people have opted to skip over the water fire extinguishers and opt for a more versatile canister. While this might seem like it might save you money, having a canister of water based extinguishers can be highly beneficial. Each canister is designed for a different purpose and having each canister on hand can make putting out a fire much easier when you have the appropriate choices.
Never dispense water fire extinguishers holding the rim or the horn of the canister. The air pressurised water comes out with enough force to be able to cause bodily harm. Hold the canister appropriately by the given handle. The pressure that is released from the canister has been known to break bones, tear skin from the hand, or dislocate knuckles. It is very important that you follow all of the safety instructions that are necessary for timely and effective fire containment.
Water fire extinguishers are environmentally friendly and have no impact on the ozone layer. For this reason, many people prefer their use over other extinguishers. Not all other fire extinguishers help destroy the ozone layer, and extinguisher companies are coming up with ways to improve the environmental factors in their product all the time. Read labels carefully and do a little research before you buy to help you save your home, your property, and your family in the most environmentally friendly way possible.
Having specialized in the water fire extinguishers trade for over 20 years, Brian now works tirelessly to promote affordable fire safety for home and for business.