- Extinguisher Rating
The extinguisher rating of a fire extinguisher is a performance and classification rating scheme for fire extinguishers according to their performance and suitability for a particular fire classification. The rating of a fire extinguisher is determined in accordance with the requirements of Australian Standard AS 1850.
Fire extinguishers complying with Australian Standards are marked with a classification and rating, determined in accordance with Australian Standard AS 1850.
Extinguishers are rated by their performance and suitability for a particular class of fire, i.e. a typical water extinguisher may be marked 2A and a typical dry chemical extinguisher marked 2A:40B:E.
The number before the letter is a measure of the relative performance within the respective class as follows:
- For Class A - Between 0 and 10
- For Class B - Between 2 and 80
- For Class F - Between 1 and 4
The higher the number , the more effective the extinguisher is for the nominated class of fire. When a fire extinguisher is rated for more than one class of fire, it is expressed in alphabetical order, i.e. 2A:40B:E.
A common misconception is that two fire extinguishers of equal mass (Kg) or volume (Litres) have the same rating.
Extinguishers are subjected to a range of standardised tests to determine their suitability and rating, in accordance with the requirements of the Building Code of Australia and local authorities having jurisdiction.
The rating of a fire extinguisher is required to be prominently displayed on the side of each extinguisher.