Fire Extinguishers: The Ultimate Guide

As a homeowner, business owner, or fire professional, knowing the ins and outs of fire extinguishers is not only necessary, it’s a matter of safety. The variety of fire extinguishers on the market can seem overwhelming, but our comprehensive guide is here to help you navigate this complex field with ease. Understanding the types, uses, applications, and price points of different fire extinguishers could be crucial in a fire emergency.

Remember, the right extinguisher can effectively combat fires, while using the wrong one could lead to disaster.

Types of Fire Extinguishers and Their Differences

1. Water Fire Extinguishers

These extinguishers are the original fire-fighting tools. They use water to cool the fire, reducing its heat and extinguishing it. Ideal for Class A fires (common combustibles like wood, paper, cloth), they’re not suitable for electrical fires or fires involving flammable liquids and gases [1].
Typically, they’re the cheapest option, with a starting price of around $20.

2. Foam Fire Extinguishers

These also combat Class A fires, but have the added ability to extinguish Class B fires (flammable liquids). They work by forming a cool, sealed layer over the fire, cutting off its oxygen supply [2].
Prices for foam extinguishers usually start at about $30.

3. CO2 Fire Extinguishers

CO2 extinguishers are ideal for fires involving electrical equipment (Class C fires), and some flammable liquids (Class B). They work by displacing oxygen in the air, thus suffocating the fire [3].
Prices can range from $50 to $150, depending on size and brand.

4. Powder Fire Extinguishers

Also known as dry chemical extinguishers, they’re versatile, suitable for Class A, B, and C fires. They disrupt the chemical reaction within a fire [4].
These extinguishers usually start at around $30.

5. Water Mist Fire Extinguishers

Water mist extinguishers use a fine mist of de-ionized water to cool the fire and displace oxygen. They’re safe for all classes of fire, including electrical fires [5].
Pricing can start from $50 upwards.

6. Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

Specifically designed for Class K fires (cooking oils and fats), wet chemical extinguishers use a formula that reacts with the fire, creating a cooling, soap-like solution (6).
These are typically more expensive, with prices starting from $100.

7. ABC Multipurpose Fire Extinguishers

These extinguishers are filled with a monoammonium phosphate dry chemical. They’re suitable for Class A, B, and C fires, hence the “multipurpose” designation (7).
They are priced around $40 and above.

8. Halotron Fire Extinguishers

Halotron extinguishers work similarly to CO2 extinguishers, but are safer for the environment. They’re useful for Class B and C fires, and are non-conductive, making them safe for electrical fires [8].
They’re often the most expensive, with prices typically starting at around $100.

Application and Customer Types

Different environments require different extinguishers. Here are a few typical customer types:

1. Homeowners:

Usually, an ABC multipurpose extinguisher is enough for home use, as it can handle a variety of common household fires.

2. Business Owners:

Depending on the nature of the business, a variety of extinguishers may be required. For example, a restaurant would benefit from having a wet chemical extinguisher due to the potential for grease fires, while an office space would benefit from a CO2 extinguisher for potential electrical fires.

3. Fire Professionals:

Fire professionals often need a range of extinguishers to combat various fire types. This includes high-grade models like Halotron extinguishers, as well as standard ABC multipurpose units.

Popular Manufacturers and Models

1. Kidde:

A global leader in fire safety solutions, Kidde produces reliable extinguishers like the Pro 210 Multipurpose Fire Extinguisher [9].

2. Amerex:

Known for quality, Amerex offers a range of extinguishers, including the popular B500 ABC Extinguisher [10].

3. First Alert:

A well-known brand, First Alert offers extinguishers like the HOME1 ABC Extinguisher that are ideal for household use [11].

4. Ansul:

Ansul is renowned in the restaurant industry for its K-Guard Kitchen-Class Fire Extinguishers(12).

Remember, fire extinguishers and other fire protection equipment are an integral part of fire safety, but they are not a substitute for professional help. Always call your local fire department in the event of a fire. Stay safe!


1. (NFPA, 2023)
2. (NFPA, 2023)
3. (NFPA, 2023)
4. (NFPA, 2023)
5. (NFPA, 2023)
6. (NFPA, 2023)
7. (NFPA, 2023)
8. (NFPA, 2023)
9. (Kidde, 2023)
10. (Amerex, 2023)
11. (First Alert, 2023)
12. (Ansul, 2023)