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Extinguisher distinguishers

Test your quick-fire memory and learn to stop a fire before it gets out of control. Which extinguisher’s right for the fire?
Plan a session with this activity

You will need

  • Scissors
  • Sticky tack
  • Dice
Types of extinguisher
PDF – 603.3KB

Before you begin

  • Cut up the ‘Types of extinguisher’ labels. You may want to attach them to coloured cones or drinks bottles to make it easier to imagine them in real situations.

Sort the facts

  1. Everyone should gather in a circle.
  2. The person leading the game should lay out the ‘Types of extinguisher’ labels in the middle of the circle.
  3. The person leading the game should use the table above to help everyone understand the different kinds of fire extinguisher and when they should be used.
  4. Everyone should chat about fire blankets. They can be used to put out fires in the kitchen (for example, cooking oil, saucepans, frying pans, and waste bins) as well as clothing fires. When you cover the fire with the fire blanket, it cuts off the fire’s supply of oxygen.

Play the game

  1. The first player should roll the dice. The number they roll tells them what type of fire they’ve found:
  1. The player should choose the right ‘Types of extinguisher’ label from the middle of the circle. If they get it wrong, they should guess again until they’re right.
  2. Once they’ve found the right label, they should put it back in the middle of the circle and pass the dice to the player on their left.
  3. Everyone should keep rolling the dice, choosing the right fire extinguisher, and passing the dice on until everyone’s had a turn. How quickly can the group get around the circle?

Check the meeting place

  1. Everyone should look around the meeting place and find the fire extinguishers.
  2. Everyone should what each extinguisher can be used for. Which would they use if there was an electrical fire? What about if wood was on fire?


This activity was all about developing skills and problem solving. It’s important to make the right decision quickly (but calmly) if there’s a fire. Different fire extinguishers are designed for different fires – it’s important to use the right one. They’re helpfully labelled with their type and symbols and words that show the fires they can and can’t be used on. How did people choose their extinguisher in the game? In a real situation, it’s more important to get it right. How could people make sure? In emergencies, it’s often important to make the right decision quickly. What other safety features help people do this? People may think about fire exit signs that make it obvious where to escape.

Remember, fire extinguishers should only be used in an emergency to help you escape. Never try to put out a fire yourself unless you need to (even if you think you know which extinguisher to use).


Active games

The game area should be free of hazards. Explain the rules of the game clearly and have a clear way to communicate that the game must stop when needed.

All activities must be safely managed. Do a risk assessment and take appropriate steps to reduce risk. Always get approval for the activity and have suitable supervision and an InTouch process.