At Expert Fire Solutions, we don’t believe dry powder extinguishers should be used indoors unless specified by a Fire Risk Assessment.

Problems with Powder

  • Loss of Visibility - when discharged, there’s a sudden loss of visibility, which could temporarily jeopardise escape, rescue or other emergency action.
  • Breathing Difficulties - the powder can cause breathing problems and trigger asthma attacks in some people if inhaled.
  • Clearing Up - it’s real messy, the fine powder will get into every small nook and cranny making cleaning-up difficult and time consuming.
  • Electrical Damage - the powder can cause significant damage, destroying stock, machinery, electrical equipment including computer hard drives.
  • Property Damage - if left in-situ the powder can adversely affect almost every material it comes into contact with, stonework, fabrics and metals.
  • Food Contamination - if set-off in a kitchen environment, the powder will contaminate food which will need to be thrown away.

Massive Clean-Up Operation

In 2009, £250,000 worth of damage was caused after a single dry powder extinguisher was used in an act of vandalism in a Grade 1 listed church in Lincolnshire. The extensive clean-up involved dismantling and re-building the organ, scaffolding had to be erected to allow for the specialist cleaning of stonework and windows. The Diocese of Lincoln recommended the replacement of all dry powder extinguishers in churches.

DID YOU KNOW: Having dry powder extinguishers on your premises could potentially invalidate your insurance unless your Fire Risk Assessment states that a particular risk within your building cannot be protected by any other type of extinguisher.

There is a place for dry powder extinguishers, they are great on fuels as they have a very fast knock-down effect to quickly extinguish flames. Generally speaking, dry powder extinguishers are often used in industrial environments, factory type buildings, outside or in open areas. Again, it must be stressed that they should only be installed if your Fire Risk Assessment deem them necessary.

How Can We Help?

It’s odd to think of a fire extinguisher doing more harm than good buts it’s so important to have the right extinguisher in the right place. As well as having a suitable extinguisher in place, knowing how to use them is vital should the worst ever happen.  We can help, Expert Fire Solutions can offer fire training courses with hands-on live fire training. Our expert BAFE trained engineers know their extinguishers and which ones are right for your business.

We’re here to help and would love to hear from you!

Call us for a chat on 0191 3750 264 or drop us an email at