The Most Popular Material for Fire Extinguishers: A Comprehensive Ranking

Choose the material you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Apr 9, 2024 07:19
Welcome to StrawPoll, where your opinions matter and shape the rankings of countless topics! Today, we're diving into the world of fire safety and exploring the most popular materials used in fire extinguishers. These unsung heroes save lives and protect properties, but which material truly stands out as the crowd favorite? We've compiled a list of top contenders, and now it's time for you to cast your vote and make your voice heard! Will it be the classic water extinguisher or the versatile ABC dry chemical? Or perhaps you've got an underrated option that's missing from our list? Don't hold back! Join the conversation, submit your suggestions, and let's discover the ultimate fire extinguisher material together!

What Is the Most Popular Material for Fire Extinguishers?

  1. 1
    This is the most popular material for fire extinguishers as it can extinguish most types of fires, including Class A, B, and C fires.
    ABC dry chemical is a multi-purpose fire extinguishing agent commonly used in fire extinguishers. It is a dry powder composed of ammonium phosphate-based chemicals that extinguish fires by creating a barrier that inhibits the chemical reactions necessary for combustion to occur. ABC dry chemical is highly effective for extinguishing fires involving flammable liquids, flammable gases, and electrical equipment. It is non-conductive and non-corrosive, making it safe to use around electrical equipment.
    • Type: Dry chemical
    • Composition: Ammonium phosphate-based chemicals
    • Fire Classes: Class A, Class B, Class C
    • Effective Against: Flammable liquids, flammable gases, electrical fires
    • Non-conductive: Yes
  2. 2


    Carbon dioxide is often used in areas where there is a risk of electrical fires, as it is a non-conductive material.
    CO2, or carbon dioxide, is a colorless, odorless, and non-flammable gas commonly used as an extinguishing agent in fire extinguishers. It is effective in suppressing fires by displacing oxygen and removing heat from the fire triangle.
    • Chemical Formula: CO2
    • Fire Class: Class B and Class C
    • Discharge Time: 8-30 seconds
    • Discharge Range: 3-8 feet
    • Operating Temperature: -40°C to 49°C (-40°F to 120°F)
  3. 3
    Water is commonly used for Class A fires, which involve combustible materials such as wood, paper, and cloth.
    Water is a transparent, tasteless, odorless, and nearly colorless chemical substance. It covers about 71% of the Earth's surface and is essential for all forms of life. Water is a vital resource that exists in various forms including liquid, solid (ice), and gas (water vapor). It plays a crucial role in numerous natural processes and human activities.
    • Chemical formula: H2O
    • Boiling point: 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Freezing point: 0 degrees Celsius (32 degrees Fahrenheit)
    • Density: 1 g/cm3
    • Specific heat capacity: 4.18 J/g°C
  4. 4
    Foam is often used for Class B fires involving flammable liquids, such as gasoline and oil.
  5. 5
    Halon is an effective material for Class B and C fires, but it is being phased out due to its negative impact on the environment.
    Halon is a popular fire extinguishing agent that has been used mainly in portable fire extinguishers. It is a liquefied, compressed gas that is discharged as a rapidly evaporating liquid to suppress fires. Halon is highly effective in extinguishing fires by interrupting the chemical reaction of the fire triangle (fuel, oxygen, heat).
    • Low toxicity: Yes
    • Odorless: Yes
    • Non-conductive: Yes
    • Non-corrosive: Yes
    • Chemical Formula: Bromochlorodifluoromethane (CBrClF2)
  6. 6

    Wet chemical

    Ansul Incorporated
    Wet chemical extinguishers are designed for use on Class F fires, which involve cooking oils and fats.
    Wet chemical is a type of fire extinguishing agent specifically developed for use on commercial kitchen fires involving flammable cooking oils and fats. It works by rapidly cooling and suppressing the fire, while also creating a soapy layer on the surface to prevent re-ignition.
    • Suitable for Class K fires: Yes
    • Effective on cooking oil and fat fires: Yes
    • Uses a potassium carbonate-based solution: Yes
    • Capable of cooling hot substances upon contact: Yes
    • Creates a soapy layer to prevent re-ignition: Yes
  7. 7
    Purple-K is a dry chemical that is effective for Class B and C fires, but it is being phased out due to its negative impact on the environment.
    Purple-K is a dry chemical fire extinguishing agent primarily used for fighting Class B and Class C fires. It is a specially formulated potassium bicarbonate-based powder that is highly effective in suppressing flammable liquid and electrical fires.
    • Fire Class: Class B and Class C fires
    • Chemical Formula: Potassium Bicarbonate (KHCO3)
    • Color: Purple
    • Fire Suppression Rating: 1A:10B:C
    • Hazard Rating: Health: 1, Flammability: 0, Reactivity: 0
  8. 8

    Clean agent

    3M Company
    Clean agent extinguishers are often used in areas where sensitive electronic equipment is present, as they do not leave any residue.
    Clean agent is a type of fire extinguishing material that is designed to suppress fires without leaving any residue or harmful by-products. It is known for its ability to quickly extinguish fires while minimizing damage to the surrounding environment. The clean agent is a colorless, odorless, and electrically non-conductive substance, making it safe to use on sensitive electronic equipment and other valuable assets.
    • Chemical Formula: Varies for different clean agents
    • Ozone Depletion Potential (ODP): Zero
    • Global Warming Potential (GWP): Varies for different clean agents
    • Extinguishing Mechanism: Chemical reaction and physical cooling
    • Evaporative Effectiveness: High
  9. 9

    Water mist

    Various manufacturers
    Water mist extinguishers are effective for Class A fires but are also suitable for Class C fires.
    Water mist is a type of fire extinguishing agent that utilizes small water droplets to suppress fires. The water mist is created by breaking down water into fine droplets using specialized nozzles or high-pressure systems. The mist has the ability to quickly cool the fire, remove heat, and displace oxygen, effectively extinguishing the flames.
    • Effective fire suppression: Water mist can effectively suppress a wide range of fire types, including Class A, B, C, and F fires.
    • Minimized water damage: Due to the small droplet size, water mist causes minimal water damage to the surrounding area when compared to traditional water-based extinguishing agents.
    • Non-conductive: Water mist is non-conductive, meaning it can be safely used on electrical fires without the risk of electric shock.
    • No residue: After application, water mist evaporates quickly, leaving no residue behind.
    • Environmentally friendly: Water mist is environmentally friendly as it does not contain any harmful chemicals or substances.
  10. 10
    Dry powder extinguishers are effective for Class D fires involving combustible metals such as magnesium and titanium.
    Dry powder is a type of fire extinguishing agent that consists of finely ground chemicals, usually sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, or monoammonium phosphate. It is designed to extinguish fires by creating a barrier that inhibits the chemical reactions fueling the flames.
    • Type of extinguishing agent: Chemicals such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, or monoammonium phosphate
    • Fire suppression method: Creates a barrier to inhibit chemical reactions
    • Suitable for class of fires: ABC - Ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids and gases, and electrical fires
    • Discharge time: Varies depending on size, typically 10-20 seconds
    • Effective extinguishing range: Approximately 3-8 meters

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Ranking factors for popular material

  1. Type of Fire
    Different materials are effective for extinguishing different types of fires. For example, some are specifically designed for electrical fires, whereas others work best on fires involving wood, paper, or fabric.
  2. Extinguishing Agent
    The material used in the fire extinguisher should be effective in suppressing fires. Common agents include water, foam, dry chemicals, carbon dioxide, wet chemicals, and clean agents.
  3. Ease of Use
    The fire extinguisher material should be user-friendly, meaning it can be easily and quickly applied to extinguish a fire. This includes factors such as the weight of the extinguisher, the method of application, and the visibility of instructions.
  4. Performance
    The fire extinguisher material should have a proven track record of effectively and efficiently extinguishing fires. This can be measured by factors such as its success rate in extinguishing fires, the speed at which it works, and its ability to prevent re-ignition.
  5. Environmental Impact
    The material should have minimal negative impact on the environment, both during its production and use. This includes factors such as ozone depletion, global warming potential, and toxicity to humans and animals.
  6. Cost
    The cost of the fire extinguisher material should be balanced with its effectiveness and ease of use. While a more expensive material may be more effective, it may not be affordable or accessible for all users.
  7. Availability
    The material should be readily available for purchase, without significant barriers to access or supply issues.
  8. Maintenance and Shelf Life
    The fire extinguisher material should have a reasonable shelf life and require minimal maintenance to ensure its effectiveness over time.
  9. Compliance with Regulations
    The fire extinguisher material should meet or exceed relevant safety standards and regulations, such as those set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), or local fire codes.
  10. Training and Education
    The fire extinguisher material should be accompanied by accessible and comprehensive training and education resources for users to ensure its proper and effective use.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular material for fire extinguishers. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or matter is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 151 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each matter once every 24 hours. The rank of each matter is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular material for fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are an essential safety tool in any building or home. They are used to put out small fires before they become large and uncontrollable. A fire extinguisher contains a substance that is discharged to extinguish a fire, and the material used in the extinguisher can vary depending on the type of fire it is designed to put out. One of the most popular materials for fire extinguishers is ABC dry chemical, which is effective in putting out fires caused by flammable liquids, electrical equipment, and ordinary combustibles. Other materials used in fire extinguishers include water, foam, carbon dioxide, and halon gas. It is important to know the type of material used in your fire extinguisher and how to use it properly to ensure your safety in the event of a fire.

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