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Which fire extinguisher

Guest Stephen

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Guest Stephen

Hi, currently studying to become a fire risk assessor.  A friend has allowed me to carry out a non real/practice risk assessment on a hair salon in a few days. I was quite interested in getting advice of the types of fire extinguishers that are suitable for this shop. A likely area of interest is the small work area each staff has on the shelf that has the combined fire risk of

Class A. Electrical ie, hair dry, heating tongs.

Class B. Liquid flammable hair product. 

Class C. Aresol can hair spray. 


All of with would likely be all together. My question is what two extinguishers would you recommend having in the store. Im guessing C02 would be a shore thing but what would be the other? 


Would you recommend water or would foam be more better due to being acceptable on class B too. 


Thanks guys 



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  • Rahel Lock changed the title to Which fire extinguisher

Class A fires aren't electrical, they are ordinary solid combustibles, wood, paper, textiles, etc.

Class B is flammable liquids

Class C is flammable gases (but you don't have to cover these as ordinary users aren't meant to tackle gas fires due to the explosion risk, you just shut off the supply)

Class D is reactive flammable metals (sodium, magnesium, etc)

Class F is cooking oils.

Electricity isn't a fire class as it isn't a fuel, just a safety consideration when choosing extinguishers.

The basic level of cover a premises requires is for Class A fires and the number required is based on floor area. For example a 200sq.m. floor gets a floor fire rating of 13A (multiply the floor area by 0.065)

Extinguishers bear a test rating dependant on the size of fire they can put out  - a common test rating is 13A so for a 200sq.m floor you would need one, 400 sq.m. 2, etc although you can use high performance extinguishers - some are rated to 27A.

The main risks in a hair salon are Class A (solids) and the risk where the solid item on fire is electrical, usually the amount of liquids, whilst present, is negligible.

The traditional way is with a water spray extinguisher for the Class A risk and a CO2 for the electrical (CO2 also has a Class B rating so deals with any flammable liquids). Most salons, based on size only require one of each or two of each at best.

Government guidance encourages the consideration of using multipurpose water based extinguishers to simplify things (you can get water based extinguishers safe in electrical fires) and water mist is another option (Good on Class A, F & electrical plus can deal with small Class B risks):


If you want to avoid the hassle (& sales pitch) of an extinguisher supply & maintenance firm you can also get long life extinguishers which the user can inspect:

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