Fire extinguisher Rating 3A:40B:EIn Australia, the letters and numbers represent the type and size of fire that an extinguisher can handle, formulating its rating. You should have the right fire extinguisher ratings for your home or business premises, or you may not meet current regulations.

Below is a detailed overview of what the letters and numbers on a fire extinguisher mean and what they indicate about its efficiency against certain types of fires.

3 A 40 B E
Rating tested to a specific size of a wood fire Fire type: combustible materials such as wood, paper, and fabric Rating tested to a specific fuel load of a flammable liquid fire Fire type: flammable liquids such as petrol, turpentine or paint Fire type: electrical equipment such as appliances, computers, phones

Letters classification: types of fire

In Australia, there are six classes or types of fire: A, B, C, D, E, and F.

  • A fires rating: combustible materials such as wood, paper, and fabric.
  • B fires rating: flammable liquids such as petrol, turpentine or paint
  • C fires rating: flammable gases like LPG, hydrogen, butane or methane
  • D fires rating: combustible metals such as magnesium, aluminum or potassium
  • E fires rating: electrical equipment such as appliances, computers, phones
  • F fires rating: cooking oils and fats typically a chip-pan fire

When a fire extinguisher is rated for more than one class of fire, it is expressed in alphabetical order, eg. 2A:40B(E)

So for example, our most popular extinguisher the 4.5kg Dry Chemical Powder has a rating of 4A:60B:E which means it is rated for A, B and E fire types.

Our 3.5kg CO2 Extinguisher has a rating of 5B:E which means it is rated for B and E fire types.

Now that we have explained the letters component, let's discuss the numbers on your extinguisher.

Numbers rating: sizes of fire

The number in front of the letter is used to rate the performance of an extinguisher during testing, based on its fire extinguishing potential, as outlined in Australian Standards AS/NZS 1850.

  • A fires number rating: combustible materials

    Rating numbers range from 1 to 10: possible ratings are 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 6A, 10A , those numbers relate to the fuel load of wooden crib used during testing. The higher the number, the greater the fuel load of the test fire.

  • B fires number rating: flammable liquids

    Rating numbers range from 2 to 80: possible ratings are 2B, 5B, 10B, 20B, 30B, 40B, 60B, 80B, those numbers relate to the fuel load of flammable liquid (n-heptane or hydocarbone solvent) used during testing. The higher the number, the greater the fuel load of the test fire.

  • C fires number rating: flammable gases

    C fires do not come with a rating number: the rating test simply determines if the extinguisher is capable of extinguishing a liquid propane gas test fire.

  • D fires number rating: combustible metals

    D fires do not come with a rating number: these are typically tested to international standards.

  • E fires number rating: electrical equipment

    E fires do not come with a rating number: the rating test simply determines if the extinguisher is capable of extinguishing an electrically energised equipment.

  • F fires number rating: cooking oils

    numbers range from 1 to 4: possible ratings are 1F (0.07m2), 2F, 3F, 4F (0.5m2), those numbers relate to the surface area of the pan or tray used during testing (with sunflower oil). The higher the number, the larger the test fire.

How do you rate a fire extinguisher?

All our extinguishers have been tested by BSI (British Standards Institution) and accredited by JAS-ANZ (Joint Accreditation System of Australia and New Zealand).

The CSIRO ActivFire Scheme is an Australian Government Agency who verify & certify fire products which may be installed into Federal and State Government Departments. All our extinguishers are also ActivFire certified.

Fire extinguisher rating requirements:

Your local fire safety company might have given you a list of fire rating requirements, rather than a list of extinguisher models. Below we have outlined those rating requirements against the required models.

If your extinguisher rating requirement is not included below, do not worry, you can pick a higher rated extinguisher to be 100% compliant.

Our Class A Rated Fire Extinguishers

Possible ratings are 1A, 2A, 3A, 4A, 6A, 10A , those numbers relate to the fuel load of wooden crib used during testing. The higher the number, the greater the fuel load of the test fire.

Rating Required Our Extinguishers Ratings Our Extinguishers Models
1A 1A:10B:E 0.75kg Dry Powder ABE
1A 1A:20B:E 1kg Dry Powder ABE
1A 1A:3F 2L Wet Chemical
1A 1A:E MRI Sapphire
2A 2A:30B:E 1.5kg Dry Powder ABE
2A 2A:30B:E 2kg Dry Powder ABE
2A 2A:3F 4L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
3A 3A 9L Air Water
3A 3A:10B:4F 9L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
3A 3A:20B 9L Eco Foam
3A 3A:20B 9L Fluorine Free Foam
3A 3A:4F 7L Wet Chemical
3A 3A:40B:E 2.5kg Dry Powder ABE
4A 4A:60B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE
4A 4A:80B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE Hi-Performance
6A 6A:80B:E 9kg Dry Powder ABE
10A 10A:80B:E 25kg Dry Powder ABE
10A 10A:80B:E 50kg Dry Powder ABE

Our Class B Rated Fire Extinguishers

Possible ratings are 2B, 5B, 10B, 20B, 30B, 40B, 60B, 80B, those numbers relate to the fuel load of flammable liquid used during testing. The higher the number, the greater the fuel load of the test fire.

Rating Required Our Extinguishers Ratings Our Extinguishers Models
2B 2B:E 2kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
5B 5B:E 3.5kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
5B 5B:E 5kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
10B 1A:10B:E 0.75kg Dry Powder ABE
10B 3A:10B:4F 9L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
20B 1A:20B:E 1kg Dry Powder ABE
20B 3A:20B 9L ECO Foam
20B 3A:20B 9L Fluorine Free Foam
30B 2A:30B:E 1.5kg Dry Powder ABE
30B 2A:30B:E 2kg Dry Powder ABE
40B 3A:40B:E 2.5kg Dry Powder BE
40B 40B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder BE
60B 4A:60B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE
80B 4A:80B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE Hi-Performance
80B 80B:E 9kg Dry Powder BE
80B 6A:80B:E 9kg Dry Powder ABE
80B 10A:80B:E 25kg Dry Powder ABE
80B 10A:80B:E 50kg Dry Powder ABE

Our Class D Rated Fire Extinguishers

D fires do not come with a rating number: these are typically tested to international standards.

Rating Required Our Extinguishers Ratings Our Extinguishers Models
D Not Applicable Amerex 570
D Not Applicable Amerex C571

Our Class E Rated Fire Extinguishers

E fires do not come with a rating number: the rating test simply determines if the extinguisher is capable of extinguishing an electrically energised equipment.

Rating Required Our Extinguishers Ratings Our Extinguishers Models
E 2B:E 2kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
E 5B:E 3.5kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
E 5B:E 5kg Carbon Dioxide CO2
E 1A:10B:E 0.75kg Dry Powder ABE
E 1A:20B:E 1kg Dry Powder ABE
E 2A:30B:E 1.5kg Dry Powder ABE
E 2A:30B:E 2kg Dry Powder ABE
E 3A:40B:E 2.5kg Dry Powder BE
E 40B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder BE
E 4A:60B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE
E 4A:80B:E 4.5kg Dry Powder ABE Hi-Performance
E 80B:E 9kg Dry Powder BE
E 6A:80B:E 9kg Dry Powder ABE
E 10A:80B:E 25kg Dry Powder ABE
E 10A:80B:E 50kg Dry Powder ABE

Our Class F Rated Fire Extinguishers

Possible ratings are: 1F (0.07sqm), 2F, 3F, 4F (0.5sqm), those numbers relate to the surface area of the pan or tray used during testing (with sunflower oil). The higher the number, the larger the test fire.

Rating Required Our Extinguishers Ratings Our Extinguishers Models
3F 1A:3F 2L Wet Chemical
3F 2A:3F 4L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery
4F 3A:4F 7L Wet Chemical
4F 3A:10B:4F 9L F-500 Lithium-Ion Battery