If you’re looking to buy and install the correct Fire extinguisher then you might be confused by the various colours available.
There are 5 main fire extinguisher colours: Red, Cream, Blue, Black, and Yellow. Every colour represents a different type of extinguisher that can be used on specific types of fires.
Up until 1997 fire extinguishers colour changed in order to meet British and European Standard BS EN3.
You will now find all up to date fire extinguishers have a red body (there are exceptions with a chrome body), with an identifying colour displayed in a wide band at the top of the extinguisher.
The main body colour was changed to red for two main reasons, firstly red is a colour that is associated with danger and fire, also there is a subconscious association with fire and red.
Secondly and probably the most important, red is a colour that is very easy to see, especially in a darker room and a smoke-filled room.
You will find an exception to the ‘red’ rule, is the chrome extinguishers, these don’t strictly conform to the guidelines, but all chrome extinguishers in the UK are ISO 9001 quality supervised and tested against BS EN3.
Summary of the different fire extinguishers
The chart below provides a simple and quick summary of each of the fire extinguisher colours and which fires they are most suited to tackle.