Distinguishing between different flame colours can help extinguish a fire significantly if you’re unsure of the origin. Depending on the nature of the fuel/combustible material, the flame colour can differ – ranging anything from red to greyish-white. Energy is emitted through flames in the form of light, which is why flames are referred to as the visible part to any fire.
Flame colours & associated chemical elements:
- Red – Li (Lithium)/Sr (Strontium)
- Strong orange – Na (Sodium)
- Pink – K (Potassium)
- Red-violet – Rb (Rubidium)
- Blue-violet – Cs (Caesium)
- Orange-red – Ca (Calcium)
- Pale green – Ba (Barium)
- Blue-green – Cu (Copper)
- Greyish-white – Pb (Lead)
Different types of fire extinguishers:
- Class A – Solids (wood)
- Class B – Flammable liquids (petrol)
- Class C – Flammable gasses (methane)
- Class D – Metals (aluminium)
- Class E – Electrical components
- Class F – Cooking oil etc
Be very careful about using which fire extinguisher on which type of flame as you could fuel the fire with the wrong substance.
Always consult with fire fighting companies about the appropriate fire extinguisher to purchase, and ensure you perform routine fire maintenance services - to ensure that your equipment is working properly and within the expiration date.
Always isolate the gas supply first, before trying to extinguish a gas fire.