A guide to fire extinguishers that could save your home – and your life


Thursday 30 August 2012 12:54 BST

Every year there are around 60,000 house fires in the UK, resulting in the loss of property and in some cases even lives.

Property can always be replaced by your home insurance policy, however to protect your life and the lives of those around you, it is important to make sure you have the right equipment on hand to deal with a fire. Allianz Your Cover offers a rundown of the types of extinguishers that could save your life.


Water fire extinguishers are good for putting out flames on carpets and soft furnishings, but are dangerous when used on flammable liquids or cooking fats. This is a good device to have in the bedroom and living room, especially if you are a smoker, but not useful for the kitchen.


Foam extinguishers are effective on woods and flammable liquids, petrol and spirits but not for kitchen or electrical fires, making this a handy device to keep in the garage. 


This is effective on flammable liquids and electrical fires, but not suitable for cooking fats or soft furnishings. 

Dry powder

This can be used on the widest range of fires in the home.  It is safe to use on textiles, wood, flammable liquids/gases and electrical fires.  However it cannot be used on kitchen fires involving cooking fats and oils.  It’s a good device for garages and living areas, but you will still need a separate device for the kitchen. 

Wet chemical

This is safe to use on soft furnishings and cooking fat fires, yet hazardous when brought into contact with electrical or flammable gases and liquids.  It is good for the living room and kitchen but unsuitable for the garage. 

Fire blanket

This is a handy item to have in cooking areas and can stop small pan fires from spreading.  They are mounted on the wall and easily accessible: using a fire blanket is the best and quickest way to extinguish a pan fire.  They can also be used to wrap around people when their clothing has caught fire. 

The best thing to do is to make an assessment of the places in your home where you see the greatest potential risks of fires occurring and keep the appropriate devices in an easily accessible place nearby.  A fire blanket and wet chemical extinguisher in the kitchen and dry powder device in the garage could prove invaluable tools in saving your home and your life in case of a house fire. 

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