Best Fire Extinguisher - Buying Guide and Top 5 Manufacturers
By Andrew Erickson
March 8, 2023
Your employees, the public, and even firefighters depend on fire extinguishers.
When it comes to buying a fire extinguisher, you need to make sure that it is the right type for your particular needs.
Different types of fires require different kinds of extinguishers, so it's important to know which one is best for you.
In general, home fire extinguishers are categorized by class: A, B, C, and D.
- Class A extinguishers are suitable for ordinary combustible materials such as wood, paper, cloth, rubber, and plastics.
- Class B extinguishers are designed to put out flammable liquids like gasoline, oil, and grease fires.
- Class C extinguishers are designed to put out energized electrical fires in areas where normal water-based extinguishers are not effective.
- Class D extinguishers are designed to put out combustible metal fires.
When selecting a fire extinguisher, it's important to consider the size and weight of the unit, as well as its ease of use in case of an emergency. It's also important to make sure that the fire extinguisher is listed by UL (Underwriters Laboratories) or a similar approved lab (for example, we generally use ETL at Digitize for listing of fire alarm monitoring devices prior to offering them for sale).
Here are 5 major manufacturers who make and sell fire extinguishers
At Digitize, we make fire alarm monitoring systems. We don't sell fire extinguishers directly, but I'm happy to use my industry expertise to to help you get started with your fire extinguisher purchase.
Let me list for you some of the major manufacturers of fire extinguishers (in no particular order, and there are certainly other players in the industry that I have not mentioned here):
As they describe themselves:
Beginning in 1971, Amerex Corporation has grown to become the world's largest and most innovative manufacturer of hand portable and wheeled fire extinguishers for commercial and industrial applications.
Product categories available from Amerex include:
- Portable fire extinguishers
- Wheeled fire extinguishers
- Fire extinguisher brackets
- Industry-specific applications
Within these categories, you'll find the basics you expect like ABC/multi-purpose extinguishers. You'll also see more advanced products like dry chemical or HALOTRON extinguishers.
Buckeye Fire Equipment
In business since 1968, Buckeye offers the following summary on their website:
We offer a complete line of handheld and wheeled fire extinguishers, extinguishing agents, fire suppressing foam concentrates & hardware and pre-engineered kitchen suppression systems.
As just about every type of building, business, or government agency needs reliable fire extinguishers, the list of industry applications on Buckeye's website is very long:
- AIRCRAFT HANGARS
- COMMERCIAL FOOD PREPARATION
- FLAMMABLE LIQUID WAREHOUSES
- LIGHT MANUFACTURING
- LOADING RACKS
- MARINE & MARITIME
- OIL & GAS DRILLING
- PETROCHEMICAL INDUSTRY
- POWER GENERATION
- WATER & WASTEWATER TREATMENT
"Printing" made me smile with recognition, as I hadn't previously considered the obvious need for extinguishment in buildings filled with paper and fast-moving machinery.
With our in-house design and building of fire alarm monitoring systems, Digitize could very well be using Buckeye fire extinguishers for our light manufacturing operation.
The Desautel Group
The first results I came across for this manufacturer were third-party retail websites. The breadth of available products on these retail websites is very large, so it's clear to me that Desautel is a major manufacturer of extinguishers.
What's more, I also found Desautel's website discussing their fire truck manufacturing business. This is clearly a company that goes way beyond fire extinguishers in the fire safety world.
Britannia Fire Ltd.
As the name implies, this company is based in the UK:
Established in 1970, Britannia Fire is a UK patent-holding manufacturer of fire extinguishers, continually inventing and innovating its products to save lives and the environment.
Their website suggests a core focus on fire extinguishers of various types (water, foam, powder, CO2, etc.)
Ceasefire Industries Pvt. Ltd.
This is a US-based company that focuses strongly on automatic fire suppression:
Founded in 1982 and headquartered in Vancouver, Washington, USA, Cease Fire is the leader in pre-engineered fire suppression systems technology. The principal business was manufacturing a proprietary dual agent, automatic fire suppression system. Its unique, patented technology has been distributed worldwide through a network of concerned professionals who are the front line of the fire suppression industry.
I particularly like the demonstration videos that they have on their website.
The Ceasefire product lineup includes backup batteries, detectors, fire alarm control panels (FACP), fire suppression, horn strobe alarms, intelligent power, and manual initiation.
There is also a prominent GSA schedule logo on their website, indicating that they are pre-approved for faster government purchasing.
Don't think your job is done just because you select the best extinguisher
Remember, the best fire extinguisher is the one that's always ready and easy to use. With proper safety precautions and a reliable fire extinguisher, you can protect everyone in your buildings from harm.
With that said, that's not the only thing you need to think about here.
I find that too many people overfocus on a single aspect of fire protection. Don't forget that your overall fire safety is affected by every aspect of your system. For example, you need initiating devices like smoke detectors and pull handles to alert you when a fire breaks out.
You usually need fire sprinklers to help suppress a fire before it can spread. If you haven't already, be sure to have a look at my list of the best manufacturers of fire sprinklers.
You also need centralized fire alarm monitoring for larger buildings, ensuring that the fire department is dispatched.
In this diagram, a fire extinguisher is both inspected by a person and monitored automatically by a central Prism LX via an automated weight sensor. Monitoring systems can play an important role in keeping your extinguishers in perfect operating condition.
It's also important to make sure you have an evacuation plan in place so that everyone in your facility knows how to get out safely.
It can be overwhelming to realize that you have so many things to think about, but, fortunately for you, I'm here to help you...
Contact Digitize today for complete guidance on fire extinguishers and other aspects of fire safety
I wrote this guide because the company that I work for specializes in fire alarm monitoring systems. As a result, I'm happy to help you on any related project, even if it does not include fire alarm systems.
I know quite a bit myself, and I have access to the entire team of engineers here, so I can get you the information that you need to get started quickly. All you have to do is pick up the phone or send me a quick e-mail, and I will help you to select the best fire extinguisher or the best... well... anything for your project.
To get started now, call 1-800-523-7232 or email email@example.com
Andrew Erickson is an Application Engineer at DPS Telecom, a manufacturer of semi-custom remote alarm monitoring systems based in Fresno, California. Andrew brings more than 16 years of experience building site monitoring solutions, developing intuitive user interfaces and documentation, and...Read More