Portable Fire Extinguishers are elementary fire fighting equipment intended for first-aid firefighting during the initial outbreak of fire incident to prevent escalation into a full-scale fire. Proper usage of portable fire extinguishers often effectively controls and extinguished a fire even before fire authorities is summoned. However, they are not supposed to be used against a large-scale fire. They should be suitably selected for the type of fire in accordance to the classification and the fire size and sited at suitable locations in close proximity to the potential fire hazards. Portable fire extinguishers should have minimum gross weight but with higher fire rating in order to be user friendly and shall be able to be carried and operated by one person. They should also be maintained and serviced annually for their effectiveness.
Codes and Standards
Portable fire extinguishers shall be designed, tested, select, install and maintain in accordance to:
- MS 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 1 : Construction and test methodology
- M.S 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 2 : Wheeled fire extinguishers
- MS 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 3 : Selection and Application – Code of Practice
- MS 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 4 : Maintenance of portable fire extinguishers – Code of Practice
- MS 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 6 : Specification for small disposable fire extinguishers of aerosol type
- MS 1539 – Specification for portable fire extinguisher: Part 8 : Chemical powders
- MS 1181 : Recharging fire extinguishers : Part 1 : Specification for procedure and materials
- MS 1181 : Recharging fire extinguishers : Part 2 : Specification for powder refill charges
Portable fire extinguishers shall be manufactured with the following requirements :- SIRIM quality certification scheme
Colour of extinguisher cylinder/body shall be signal red to RAL 3000. All wordings, diagram, pictogram shall be white in colour and all extinguishing medium shall be colour coded as follows:
- Water – Red
- Foam – Cream
- Dry chemical powder – Blue
- Carbon dioxide – Black
- Halon – Golden yellow
Note: Halon portable fire extinguishers are only allowed for military, aviation or special applications only where permitted by Department of Environment Malaysia.
- Generally, portable fire extinguishers should be located in conspicuous position where they can be easily spotted by evacuees in an escape route.
- Sitting position near to fire exits, corridors, stairways, lobbies and landings are most suitable. They should not be sited where a potential fire might prevent access to them.
- Extinguishers should be located preferably within recessed closets if they be sited along protected corridors to avoid obstruction during
- They should be sited not more than 20 metres from a potential fire hazard. For fires involving flammable liquids and fats oil, the accessibility from the potential fire hazard to fire extinguisher should be less than 9m.
- For PFE with gross weight < 4 kg, installation shall be such that carrying handle is not more than 1.2 m above the floor.
- For PFE with gross weight > 4 kg, installation shall be such that carrying handle is not more than 1 m above the floor.
Old Fire Extinguisher
Fire Extinguisher Test Fire Chart
Fire Extinguisher Colour Chart
Water Fire Extinguisher
Foam Fire Extinguisher
Chemical Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher
Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguisher