Why capacity or weight is a πŸ’© measure of fire extinguisher performance and value!

The weight of a portable fire extinguisher is terrible measure of the value of a portable fire extinguisher. To address, this, Firewize have conducted a an industry leading visual performance rating scheme (like a star rating) that has been modeled on similar schemes for nutrition, health and energy efficiency.
Russ Porteous
CEO, Firewize
12 Feb, 2021

If you go online to buy just about ANY type of fire extinguisher, you are faced with a comparison generally about price vs weight.Β  For example, in writing this article I conducted a quick search on Google for a 4.5Kg Dry Chemical Powder Fire Extinguisher, which revealed the following results;Β 

DCP Fire Extinguisher Comparison 4.5Kg

As recognised and established industry experts, we have the knowledge and experience to inspect each advertised fire extinguisher and review its features and technical attributes.

What have we learned?

All Fire Extinguisher Types - Carbon Dioxide, Dry Chemical Powder, Wet Chemical, Air-Water, Air-Foam

There are a number of factors a purchaser needs to consider in respect to the selection of a portable fire extinguisher, these factors include;

  • Purpose (intended use & location);
  • Physical size (height, width & depth);
  • Mounting options (wall mount or vehicle mount);
  • Fire Rating & Classification;
  • Agent Type (Dry Chemical Powder, Carbon Dioxide, Air-Water, Air-Foam, Wet Chemical);
  • Hose or Nozzle;
  • Cylinder & valve construction and finish;
  • Warranty;
  • Price.

Because advertisers do not display the rating of a fire extinguisher, buyers typically only use the capacity and price as a guide. Selecting a fire extinguisher should not be this hard.

Advertiser Mount
Options
Hose /
Nozzle
Agent
Capacity
Classification Rating
A B C D E F
Firewize Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle, Heavy Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg 6 80 Y - Y - β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…
Advertiser 1 Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg No Rating Advertised β˜†
Advertiser 2 Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg 4 60 - - Y - β˜…β˜…β˜…
Advertiser 3 Wall Hose 4.5Kg No Rating Advertised β˜†
Advertiser 4 Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg 3 60 - - Y - β˜…β˜…β˜†
Advertiser 5 Wall Bracket Hose 4.5Kg No Rating Advertised β˜†
Advertiser 6 Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg No Rating Advertised β˜†
Advertiser 7 Unknown Hose 4.5Kg No Rating Advertised β˜†
Advertiser 8 Wall Bracket, Light Duty Vehicle, Heavy Duty Vehicle Hose 4.5Kg 4 60 - - Y - β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜…β˜†

Our rating system is based on an formula that using empirical data with weighting based on the rating of each fire extinguisher, and its advertised price as a ratio of the rating.

Based on the data, we gave each extinguisher a score of 1 to 5 where 1 is the lowest rating and 5 is the best rating possible.

Is cheap better?

Price is definitely NOT the ultimate differentiator in selecting a fire extinguisher. In fact, a golden ratio exist between quality / fire rating and price of an extinguisher that must be taken into consideration when buying a portable fire extinguisher.

In fire safety, there are very few barriers from anyone to buy and sell a portable fire extinguisher.  Unfortunately like almost every industry, there is a myriad of sellers with little (or no) experience, marketing product that may or may not even be approved for sale in Australia.

The sale price is also established by a seller for a portable fire extinguisher is typically established by a number of factors such as market rates, business profit objectives, data and perhaps even a little bit of gut feel.

A portable fire extinguisher is a life safety device (like a smoke alarm) and value and quality (not price) must be be the deciding factor in selection.

Introducing the Extinguisher Selection Guide!

Because the public does not necessarily have the information, knowledge and experience necessary to select the best portable fire extinguisher for their application we have built an interactive tool to help select the best fire extinguisher for your application.The tool take into consideration all of the factors necessary to select the best fire extinguisher for your application. Curious? Check out our online interactive fire extinguisher selection guide!

Still Confused?

If all of this is way too much, then feel free to book a few 15 minute call with us!Β  During the call we will help answer any questions you may have and guide you throughΒ the extinguisher selection process.