Fire Extinguisher Ratings Explained
14th Nov 2016
What's a Fire Extinguisher Rating?
All quality fire extinguishers that comply with the modern manufacturing standard BS EN 3, will be printed with a code that gives the ‘fire extinguisher rating’.
This rating helps you to understand which types of fires the extinguisher is capable of dealing with and helps risk assessors and business owners understand their fire extinguisher needs. The rating helps you to understand which types of fires the extinguisher is capable of dealing with
Understanding Fire Extinguisher Ratings
A fire extinguisher’s rating consists of 2 parts; a number and a letter.
The letter part of the rating denotes what class of fire this fire extinguisher is suitable for. If you’re not sure what type of fire extinguisher to use for each class of fire, take a look at our post here that explains it all for you.
The number part of the rating, simply describes the size of the fire that the fire extinguisher can extinguish. The larger the number before the fire type letter, the larger the fire that the extinguisher is capable of tackling.
For example, our 2L Foamspray extinguisher has a rating of 5A 55B. This fire rating indicates that it can tackle A class fires up to size 5 and B class fires up to size 55.Each fire class’s rating is measured differently
Each fire class’s rating is measured differently. Class A fire ratings are calculated by how many stacks of burning material the extinguisher can put out and Class B ratings are established by the number of litres of flammable liquid that can be extinguished.
This fire extinguisher can tackle up to 5 ‘stacks’ of pre-determined combustible solids and up to 55 litres of the tested combustible fuel.
Why are Fire Extinguisher Ratings Important?
These ratings help us to establish whether the given risk is properly accounted for during Fire Risk Assessments and gives us the ability to estimate the type and number of fire extinguishers required when hiring them for events.
For more information on fire risk assessments and what an assessor or 'responsible person' must review, click here and download a free checklist.