Fire Ratings Explained

The letters A, B, E, D & F are types of fires.
These letters classify a fire mostly by the type of fuel that is keeping the fire going.
Where an extinguisher is classified with more than one letter, it means it is effective on more than one type of fire, eg 1A:10B:E extinguisher, could be used on a Type A fire, or a B fire, or a type E fire (it is often referred to as an ABE extinguisher). The number in front of the letter is used to compare the performance of an extinguisher as outlined in AS/NZS 1850
For class A fires the numbers range from 1 to 10, for class B they are from 2 to 80, and for class F, they go from 1 to 4. With the exception of the water extinguisher, all the other extinguishers are capable of putting out more than one type of fire. Use the table below to choose the fire extinguisher that is best suited to your needs.

Fire Types

Class
Description Typical Examples
A
Wood, Paper, Plastics wood, textiles, rubber, plastics, and paper. Offices, warehouses
B
Flammable Liquids petrol, oil, paint, petrol stations, cars
D
Combustible Metals alkali metals like lithium and potassium
E
Electrical Switchboards, computers, toasters, fuse boxes, live electrical appliances
F
Cooking Oils/Fats Butter, deep fryers, kitchens, takeaways, and restaurants

Class A Fires (Wood, Paper, Plastics…)

Rating Requirements FireFX Rating Extinguisher Description
1A 1A:AE MRI Sapphire
1A 1A:10B:E 0.75kg DCP ABE
1A 1A:20B:E 1kg DCP ABE
1A 1A:3F 2L Wet Chemical
2A 2A:30B:E 1.5kg DCP ABE
2A 2A:30B:E 2kg DCP ABE
2A 2A 4L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
3A 3A:10B 9L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
3A 3A:20B 9L Foam
3A 3A:4F 7L Wet Chemical
3A 3A:20B 9L Fluorine Free
3A 3A 9L Air Water
3A 3A:40B:E 2.5kg DCP ABE
4A 4A:60B:E 4.5kg DCP ABE
4A 4A:80B:E 4.5kg DCP ABE Hi-Performance
6A 6A:80B:E 9kg DCP ABE

Class B Fires (Flammable Liquids)

Rating Requirements FireFX Rating Extinguisher Description
2B 2B:E 2kg CO2
5B 5B:E 3.5kg CO2
5B 5B:E 5kg CO2
10B 1A:10B:E 0.75kg DCP ABE
10B 3A:10B:E 9L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
20B 1A:20B:E 1kg DCP ABE
20B 3A:20B 9L Foam
20B 3A:20B 9L Fluorine Free
30B 2A:30B:E 1.5kg DCP ABE
30B 2A:30B:E 2kg DCP ABE
30B 30B:E 2.5kg DCP BE
40B 3A:40B:E 2.5kg DCP ABE
40B 40B:E 4.5kg DCP BE
60B 4A:60B:E 4.5kg DCP ABE
80B 4A:80B:E 4.5kg DCP ABE Hi-Performance
80B 80B:E 9kg DCP BE
80B 6A:80B:E 9kg DCP ABE

Class D Fires (Combustible Metals – especially alkali metals like lithium and potassium)

Rating Requirements FireFX Rating Extinguisher Description
NA NA Chubb Lith-X class
NA NA Amerex 570
NA NA Amerex 571

Class F Fires (Cooking Oils and Fats)

Rating Requirements FireFX Rating Extinguisher Description
3F 1A:3F 2L Wet Chemical
4F 3A:4F 7L Wet Chemical