Top Fire Extinguisher Statistics You Should Know

Industrial Fire
Apr 12,2024

Fire extinguishers are great fire safety tools. Even without training, Eastern Kentucky University and Worcester Polytechnic Institute found that 98% of participants could safely discharge an extinguisher.

Source: WPI

This is remarkably impressive, considering the effectiveness of fire extinguishers in emergencies and the lack of training needed.

Type of Fire Extinguishers

Five primary categories of fire extinguishers are available in the market, each designed to tackle different types of fires. These include water, CO2, powder, foam, and other chemical extinguishers.

Market size data clearly shows the distribution and prevalence of these types, indicating their respective roles in fire safety and management.

Source: Market.US

Portable fire extinguishers have a significant presence in the global market. In 2022, they dominated the market, accounting for 65% of the overall market share.

Fire Extinguisher Usage 

Interestingly, 84% of fires never grow large enough to activate sprinkler systems. This suggests that inoccupants are extinguishing fires in most cases. 

From this 84%, the most popular extinguisher used is CO2. This is no surprise, as it is used to put out Class B and electrical fires.

Source: FIA

Alongside this, Fire extinguishers are remarkably effective, successfully eliminating fire risks 93.5% of the time they are employed.

Source: FIA

One key factor contributing to the high success rate of fire extinguishers is the level of training and knowledge among users. 93% of individuals select the appropriate type of extinguisher for the specific class of fire.

Source: FIA

However, this is quite surprising, considering that only 52% of users have received training in using extinguishers.

Source: FIA

Fire Extinguishers and the Environment

Research from the JH report indicates that fire risks contribute 1-2% of a building’s total carbon footprint. In the U.S., structural fires account for approximately 0.5-1% of the carbon footprint, translating to 25-50 million metric tons of CO2 each year. This amount is comparable to the emissions from 5-10 million cars.

Implementing fire extinguishers and automatic sprinkler systems can slash these emissions by a staggering 99%. Without such fire suppression tools, a building’s carbon emissions could reach 90kg/m2. With them, emissions plummet to just 1kg/m2.

Additionally, fire extinguishers also minimize the need for fire and rescue services. By effectively handling small fires, these devices reduce transportation costs and resources associated with emergency responses. 

Impressively, 73% of fires that are addressed with a fire extinguisher don’t require the intervention of fire or rescue services at all.

Source: FIA


Overall, fire extinguishers are essential tools in protecting both humans and the environment from fire hazards.

Plus, even though only a minority of users receive formal training on fire extinguishers, their efficacy during emergencies cannot be denied.

As our focus turns toward safety and sustainability, the importance of fire extinguishers remains undeniable. They are a testament to simple, well-designed tools’ power to protect lives, property, and the planet.

About the Author

Industrial Fire

We are a family-owned and operated business. Industrial Fire has proudly served Houston, Texas, for over seven decades. Fire protection technology has changed a lot since we started doing business in 1945. Still, one thing hasn’t changed, our commitment to providing our neighbors in Houston, TX, with the best fire protection services and equipment available.