Low Maintenance
P 50 Fire Extinguishers

Are these low-maintenance P50 extinguishers the future for the UK fire extinguisher industry?

These cost-effective virtually service-free fire extinguishers eliminate the need for a 3rd party servicing company to check them every year, reducing your annual maintenance costs dramatically whilst delivering environmental savings.


As opposed to the traditional setup of a Foam/CO2 dual extinguisher point requiring the user to make the correct selection of extinguisher type in the event of a fire. The P50 is a single-point extinguisher. They provide excellent all-around firefighting capabilities with the ability to tackle Class A, B, C, and F type fires and also those involving electrical risks up to 1000v at a distance of 1m. This eliminates the need for a human decision and ensures only the correct extinguisher can be selected.

P50 2 pressure gauges

Label Colour and Types

P50 Foam – Cream
P50 Powder – Blue
P50 Chemical – Yellow with a yellow base.

The P50 Foam extinguishers are most suited to extinguishing Class B; liquid fires such as petrol, diesel, or paint and Class A because they can also be used on various organic materials including wood, coal, textiles, fabrics, cardboard, and paper.

The P50 Powder will extinguish Class A (carbonaceous) fires, Class B (flammable liquid) fires, and Class C (flammable gas) fires. Suitable for use outdoors or in high-risk areas such as car parks, plant rooms, fuel stores, etc.

The P50 F Class extinguisher has a wet chemical formulation making it suitable for use on Class F fires involving cooking fat fires cooking oils and deep fat fryers. Ideal for commercial and industrial kitchen applications. They can also be used on Class A fires (wood, paper, and fabrics) and Class B fires (flammable liquids).

All of the above extinguishers have passed the EN3 test for use on live electrical equipment up to 1000v at a distance of 1m

P50 F Class extinguisher

How P50 fire extinguishers work:

The extinguishing media in P50 extinguishers operates similarly to traditional fire extinguishers. It depends on the type of fire they are designed to combat.

For Class A fires (involving solid materials like wood, paper, or textiles), P50 extinguishers typically use a water-based solution or foam.

For Class B fires (involving flammable liquids like gasoline or oil), they use foam or dry powder.

For electrical fires (Class C), P50 extinguishers are non-conductive and safe for use around live electrical equipment.

For cooking oil fires (Class F), they use a specialised wet chemical solution.

The A rating, which indicates effectiveness against Class A fires, is more than double that of traditional extinguishers. This means they can cover a larger area effectively.

P50 extinguishers have an impressive A rating of 1,000 kV (kilo-volts) at a distance of 1 metre. This high rating ensures better fire suppression capability.

P50 Powder extinguisher

Are They Legal?

Although the extinguishers are fully compliant with BS EN3-7:2004+A1:2007 (Characteristics, performance requirements, and test methods), they do not meet BS 5306-3:2017 (Commissioning & Maintenance) and BS 5306-8:2012 (Selection & Positioning).

The P50 is also tested under the European Pressure Equipment Directive (PED). It is, of course, also BSI Kitemarked, CE Marked, and approved by LPCB (Loss Prevention Certification Board).

You will need to provide a justification in your fire risk assessment, explaining why far fewer extinguishers are needed to cover the same area.

Like all extinguishers, the owners must, by law, have a routine to maintain the extinguishers. There is a requirement to monthly check the presence and status of the P50 extinguishers with the findings recorded in the company’s fire safety logbook plus an annual full visual inspection by a representative of the owners e.g. ‘responsible’ person. Also, like all extinguishers, there should be a regular visual walk-past to ensure the extinguisher is present and pressurised.

Although they are becoming more popular and being used in ‘high-profile’ premises you may still have to check with your insurance company to ensure it complies with their requirements.

P50 Foam extinguisher

Are They Worth It?

The initial purchase price will be higher than the traditional steel extinguishers, but it is worth reminding that these could be more cost-effective in the long run as they come with a 10-year guarantee with service and refill after ten years and a 20-year life cycle.

P50s do have much higher ratings compared to their older counterparts, with more than double the A rating at 1,000kV, meaning far fewer extinguishers are needed to cover the same area.

The A rating, which indicates effectiveness against Class A fires, is more than double that of traditional extinguishers. This means they can cover a larger area effectively.

P.S. We DO NOT sell, supply or recommend fire extinguisher companies but we can help you review your Fire Risk Assessment.

Please note that this article provides basic easy-to-understand guidance on fire safety provisions and the key fire safety information required to comply with legislation. Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. We aim to assist you to understand the fire-related terms within your Fire Risk Assessment.  It does not provide detailed technical guidance on all fire safety provisions, and you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding Fire Safety including the legislation regarding Fire Alarms. Be sure to read our accompanying guides: Guide to Classes of Fire in the UK from A to F, Types of Fire Extinguisher, How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need?, Siting of Fire Extinguishers, Chrome Fire Extinguishers, Maintaining & Servicing Your Fire Extinguishers AND Fire Alarm System Types, Emergency Lighting, Fire Door Regulations, Fire Safety Signs, also published on this site. 

Please take a moment to have a look around our website where you will find related articles and guides to all the services we can provide your business with, from providing fire risk assessments, fire safety training, advisory services to Articles on Fire Safety Provisions and our Top Fire Safety Tips!