EN Fire safety meetings: how to choose an extinguisher ?

Submitted by admin on Wed, 07/07/2021 - 11:37

Ensuring the safety of occupants and thus compliance with regulations requires equipment available to all. The French labor code requires that public and private facilities be equipped with "a 6-liter portable water spray extinguisher for every 200 square meters of floor space, with at least one device per level. In the event that the premises present particular fire risks, particularly electrical risks, they must be equipped with a number and type of extinguishers appropriate to these risks." But each fire has its own extinguisher, EQUANS France explains how to choose your equipment.  


What are the categories of fire and the associated types of extinguishers ?


Several products are said to be combustible and can therefore cause a fire. Thus, there are 5 different classes of fire. Each of them is associated with one or more types of extinguishers, among them :

  • powder extinguishers

  • water + additive extinguishers,

  • foam extinguishers,

  • CO2 extinguishers.

To fight a fire correctly, you need to know the class of fire you are facing and thus determine the most suitable category of extinguisher :  




*The Electrical class does not officially exist but is often used to group electrical fires. 

To summarize, each type of fire has its own extinguisher :





What are the recommendations to respect to guarantee the quality and reliability of the extinguishers ?

All fire extinguishers have a lifespan of 20 years. To ensure that the extinguisher is effective and meets precise specifications, it must comply with the NF EN3 standard and have the CE mark. These European standards ensure that your equipment is reliable and of high quality.

However, like all equipment, the extinguisher is subject to frequent verification and maintenance. Thus, to guarantee its reliability, a maintenance of the extinguishers must be carried out on an annual basis. An I4-NF285 certified organization (installation and maintenance services for fire extinguishers) will provide an additional guarantee of quality and will be able to issue a certificate of conformity N4 (after installation) and Q4 (after maintenance).

Beyond this annual maintenance, the fire extinguishers must be checked in the workshop every 10 years (revision + change of the extinguishing agent). A more thorough revision must also be performed every 5 and 15 years.

How to use an extinguisher?

Once you have determined which extinguisher corresponds to which category of fire, you need to know how to use the device. The safety of each one also passes by the fire safety, thus to make you sensitive with the good practices of the use of an extinguisher.