Fire extinguishers

When properly used, a portable fire extinguisher can put out a small fire, or control a small fire until the fire department arrives. Choose the quantity based on your residence type:

  • Apartment: One mounted in the kitchen, close to the exit
  • House: Two – one in the kitchen, another in the workshop or utility room
  • Business: A minimum of one. Phone the Fire Prevention Office of Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services for details

Type of fire

Portable fire extinguishers are labeled with letters – A, B and C – or symbols. This label shows the extinguisher has been tested against one or more of the three types of house fires:

  • Class A: Ordinary combustibles such as wood, cloth, paper, rubber, and many plastics
  • Class B: Flammable liquids such as gasoline, oil, grease, tar, oil-based paint and lacquer, and flammable gas
  • Class C: Electrical equipment such as wiring, fuse boxes, circuit breakers, machinery, and appliances

Read the fire extinguisher labels

The label on a portable fire extinguisher shows the type and size of fire the device can extinguish.

 Tip: Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services recommends an ABC multi-purpose dry chemical extinguisher with a minimum 2A 10BC rating.

 Warning: Portable fire extinguishers - of any size - are not designed to fight large or spreading fires. 

Fire extinguisher installation

Install portable fire extinguishers where they can be seen, but above a child's reach. Install at least one in the kitchen, one in the basement, and at least one by every exit of the house.

Warning Fire extinguishers are pressurized cannisters. Keep them away from any stoves or heating appliances.

Fire extinguisher selection

How to choose a fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are classified by type of fire and size of fire that it can extinguish. Follow these tips to choose the correct fire extinguisher for your home or business.

Fire extinguisher maintenance

How to use a fire extinguisher

Be prepared for an emergency. Learn how to use a fire extinguisher properly, and ensure that is is recharged and ready for when you need it the most.

Fire extinguisher recycling

If you have a portable fire extinguisher that is empty and needs to be recycled, please take it to a local fire extinguisher supply / servicing company. They will recycle the extinguisher's parts for a small fee.

 NOTE: Please do not take empty extinguishers to your local fire hall. They are not able to recycle extinguishers.

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How to choose a fire extinguisherHow to use a fire extinguisher