Water fire extinguishers are a cost effective and practical method of protection against carbonaceous material (Class A) fires where a fire hose reel is not installed in a building.

Class A fires are fires involving any of the following materials:

  • Paper
  • Wood
  • Textiles
  • Most Plastics
  • Rubber

Water fire extinguishers are not effective on flammable liquid (Class B) fires, and are dangerous to use on cooking oil or fat (Class F) fires. Also, because water is conductive, these extinguishers must not be used on fires involving electrically energized equipment. Unlike other extinguisher types, water extinguishers do not have a colored band fitted to the cylinder body.

Water fire extinguishers operate by discharging a stream of water from the nozzle onto the fire. The water reduces the temperatures of the burning material below its ignition point, thus extinguisher the fire.