Water Fire Extinguisher Australian GuideIn Australia, Water Class A extinguishers are one of the most common fire extinguishers on the market. Water is a very cost effective solution and has zero impact on the environment. Here’s a guide on how to identify them, how they work and when to use them safely:

Water fire extinguisher colour:

All new fire extinguishers in Australia are painted with a rich red colour, which is referred to as Signal Red.
A Water extinguisher has a red body and doesn't have a colour band wrapped around the top of its cylinder.

Water fire extinguisher sizes:

Available in 1 portable Size: 9L.

How does a Water extinguisher work?

Each type of extinguisher works by attempting to remove one of the elements that are needed for a fire to flourish. Water Extinguishers contain water and pressurised air, they cool the temperature of the fire making it difficult for the fire to burn and reignite. It is important to continue to spray water until the area is completely cooled.

When to use a Water extinguisher?

Water extinguishers are only used on class A fires (flammable solids such as paper, wood, and textile materials).
Water Extinguishers:
Class A Fires - rubber, wood, paper and textile materials etc

Water Fire extinguisher types and fire classes

Water extinguisher DO NOT USE ON:

Water extinguishers should not be used on fires involving electrical equipment (risk of danger - water conduct electricity), flammable gases, flammable liquids, cooking oils and fats, and also are not suitable for use on flammable metals.

Where to use a Water extinguisher?

Water extinguishers can be used indoors and outdoors. Any facility that contains wood, paper, textile fabrics and so on.

How to use a Water Fire Extinguisher?

Knowing how to operate a Water fire extinguisher could save your life in an emergency.
The key to putting out a fire with a Water extinguisher is to use the PASS strategy: Pull the pin, Aim the hose towards the base of the fire, Squeeze the lever, and Sweep the hose.
Remember: Fires double in size every 60 seconds so use a fire extinguisher for small, contained fires only. Leave immediately if you're unable to extinguish the fire and call 000.

Water extinguisher Service & Maintenance:

In an Australian business environment, all Water extinguishers must undergo a recharge every year and hydrostatic testing every 5 years. All Water fire extinguishers must carry a maintenance tag that shows their last inspection date, and must be serviced every 6 months. Once your extinguisher has been discharged, it must be pressure tested & recharged, or replaced.

They should not be installed in locations directly exposed to extreme cold (possibility of freezing in conditions lower than -5°C).

At home, Water extinguishers can last up to 10 years but you need to check them regularly (we recommend twice a year to check the following: pressure is at the recommended level, nozzle or hose are not obstructed, pin and tamper seal is intact, no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and other signs of wear).

How to clean up after a Water fire extinguisher?

Because Water evaporate harmlessly into the atmosphere, they leave no residue behind and require no cleanup.

Water fire extinguisher discharge effects to be aware of:

  • Easy & Safe – safe for the operator as water extinguishers contain only water and air (except on electrical fires).
  • Environment – Water has zero impact on the environment.
  • Disposal in drain systems – Water extinguishers are safe to discharge down normal drains;

How to Refill & Recharge a Water fire extinguisher:

In Australia, Water Fire extinguishers must be discharged and recharged every 12 months. The refill process should be done by a trained professional. If it is not done adequately, the extinguisher could malfunction in case of an emergency.

Here are simplified steps of the Waterrefill process:

  • Empty and depressurize the extinguisher (remove hose, valve assembly, clean...)
  • Fill the cylinder with the amount of water specified on the label
  • Re-Pressurize the extinguisher (check for leaks)
  • Reconnect hose and ring pin
  • Weigh the fully assembled fire extinguisher

Water fire extinguisher Disposal & Recycling:

Water Fire extinguishers are classified as a dangerous good and can not be disposed of at your household waste collection and/or curb-side collection. So how do you safely dispose of a used, expired but unused or empty carbon dioxide fire extinguisher?

Please check this article to dispose or recycle your old Water Fire Extinguisher: https://www.fireextinguisheronline.com.au/fire-extinguisher-recycling

You can also contact your local fire department and enquire if you can drop those off at the firehouse to dispose of them (only for expired but full or partially filled fire extinguishers). And you can contact your local council.