First I'm going to talk a little bit about the different types of fire extinguishers and the color-coding system. This works straight away when you need fire extinguisher service but a good rule of thumb is that you should do a full service once a year. This is actually a legal requirement for UK businesses.

Fires are classified into five groups

The first group is Class A: This class includes organic materials such as paper, wood, textiles, and clothing materials.

The second group is Class B: this class is for flammable liquids such as gasoline.

The third group is Class C: this class is for flammable gases, such as acetylene, hydrogen, and other gases.

The fourth class is class D: this class is for fires involving flammable metals if

There is a new class F: this class is for fires that include cooking oil and other liquids

Now that you know a little about how firefighting classes are set up, it should make a little more sense to consider servicing your fire extinguisher each year.

With the different types of fire that I have mentioned in the above list, it should become more clear that fighting fire is not a simple matter. If you regularly service firefighters, you can help put the fire out by the time professionals arrive at the scene.

How does color-coding work?

Water-type sprinklers are only for Class A fires, and the signals are red with a red label.

The foam-type extinguisher is for Class A and B fires and is red with a cream-colored panel above the operating instructions. Dry Powder Type Extinguishers are intended for class A, B, and C fires, and are indicated in red with a blue panel above the operating instructions. A carbon dioxide type fire extinguisher is for Class A, and (limited) Class B fires, and is indicated by red color with a black panel above the operating instructions.

A type of fire extinguisher, this type is no longer in use in the UK, and is illegal, but was used for Type A fires in the past. If you have one of these you should arrange for its immediate disposal. Wet chemical-type fire extinguishers may be used for Class A fires but are actually for Class F fires. These are indicated in red with a canary yellow panel above the operating instructions.

Lastly, servicing the fire extinguisher is essential for you. It's just good sense to make sure your equipment is in top working order.