How do Water Fire Extinguishers Work?


Water fire extinguishers are an effective way of dealing with small fires. As a result, they can be used in your home or business and are inexpensive, but they have limitations. Okay, lets learn how water fire extinguishers work.

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For a Fire to Burn, Three Elements are Needed

Fires require three things: oxygen, heat and fuel.

Firstly, oxygen is the most important component of this equation because without oxygen there is no fire.

You can think of heat as the second most important component. Because without sufficient heat there will not be enough energy to ignite or sustain combustion in an area where fuel has been introduced.

Lastly, fuel is the least important component since it does not provide enough energy by itself to cause a fire on its own. If you take away all other elements except for fuel, regardless of how much fuel you have, nothing will happen.

The fire triangle

So, How does a Water Fire Extinguisher Work?

The BIG question… How does a Water Fire Extinguisher Work?

Water cools the burning fuel surface of the fire below its ignition temperature. In other words, it can no longer continue to burn.

  • Water is NOT a fuel.
  • It cannot burn or produce heat when it is heated.
  • Water can conduct heat extremely well 
  • Water is an effective insulator (it slows down the spread of flame).

To clarify, these characteristics make water an excellent choice for extinguishing fires in homes, offices and factories.

Water Fire Extinguishers Only Works on Class A Fire

Water fire extinguishers are for Class A fires only.

Class A fires involve ordinary combustible materials, such as wood or paper.

Never use a water fire extinguisher on any other type of fire. It will do more harm than good!

Water fire extinguishers are not effective against Class B fires because they involve flammable liquids, such as petrol or oil. The water in a water fire extinguisher will make these types of liquid even more dangerous to handle than before. Because it can cause them to splash and spread even further if used improperly!

The Drawbacks of a Water Extinguisher

Water has some drawbacks when used as a fire extinguisher.

It can be ineffective on electrical fires, fires involving flammable liquids, and fires involving combustible metals.

For example, water will not put out oil-based fires and can even cause them to spread. Water is also not safe for use with chlorine gas because it will release the gas into the air where it can be inhaled by people nearby.

Average Water Fire Extinguisher Rating

The average water fire extinguisher has a rating of 10A.

10A rating means that it is effective at dealing with fires involving up to 10 square metres of ordinary combustible material, such as wood or paper.

To clarify, this does not mean that if you have a larger fire, you need to use a larger extinguisher. The rating refers only to the size of the fire – not the size of the extinguisher.

how to use a fire extinguisher

Buying a Water Fire Extinguisher 

It is important to get help from a professional like us if you think you need water fire extinguishers for your home or business.

If you are looking for advice on the right type of fire extinguisher, contact OHEAP through our form or contact phone number. We guarantee you will reach someone who knows about fires and fire safety.

Effective, Yet Inexpensive

Water is an effective and inexpensive method for handling small fires in your home or business.


The best thing to do if you think you may need water fire extinguishers is to contact a professional. They will be able to help you choose the right type of water fire extinguisher for your home or business, and install it properly so that it’s fully functional when needed.

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