What is the Best Extinguisher to Use Around Computer Equipment?

January 30, 2024

In the ever-evolving landscape of technology, safeguarding IT equipment goes beyond just digital threats. While cybersecurity measures are crucial, physical safety precautions are equally important, especially when it comes to protecting your hardware from fire hazards. Fire incidents can swiftly turn into catastrophic events, leading to data loss, equipment damage, and potential downtime. Therefore, finding the best extinguisher to use around computer equipment is paramount for any organization serious about mitigating such risks.

Before delving into the types of fire extinguishers suitable for IT environments, it’s crucial to understand the potential fire hazards associated with IT equipment:

  1. Electrical Fires: IT equipment, including servers, computers, and networking devices, generates heat during operation. Overloading circuits, damaged wiring, or malfunctioning components can lead to electrical fires.
  2. Overheating: Inadequate cooling or ventilation systems can cause IT equipment to overheat, increasing the risk of fire.
  3. Dust Accumulation: Dust buildup within IT equipment can act as kindling when exposed to heat, leading to combustion.
  4. External Factors: Environmental factors such as power surges, lightning strikes, or nearby fires can pose additional risks to IT equipment.

Choosing the Right Fire Extinguishers

Selecting appropriate fire extinguishers tailored to IT environments is crucial for effectively combating fires while minimizing damage to equipment. Here are the primary types recommended:

  1. Class C Fire Extinguishers: Class C extinguishers are specifically designed for electrical fires, making them ideal for IT environments where electrical equipment is prevalent. These extinguishers contain non-conductive extinguishing agents that smother the fire without conducting electricity, minimizing the risk of electrocution and equipment damage.
  2. Clean Agent Fire Extinguishers: Clean agent extinguishers, such as Halotron or Ansul CleanGuard, protect sensitive electronic equipment. These extinguishing agents leave no residue, making them suitable for IT environments where damage from extinguishing agents must be minimized. Clean agent extinguishers are effective against Class A, B, and C fires, making them versatile for various fire hazards.
  3. CO2 Fire Extinguishers: Carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers are another option for combating Class C fires involving electrical equipment. CO2 displaces oxygen, suffocating the fire without leaving residue behind. However, it’s essential to ensure proper ventilation when using CO2 extinguishers to prevent oxygen depletion in confined spaces.
  4. Water Mist Fire Extinguishers: Water mist extinguishers offer a safer alternative to traditional water-based extinguishers in IT environments. These extinguishers discharge ultra-fine water droplets, which evaporate rapidly upon contact with heat, suppressing the fire without causing water damage to sensitive equipment.

Best Practices for Fire Safety in IT Environments

In addition to selecting the appropriate fire extinguishers, implementing best practices for fire safety is crucial:

  • Regular Maintenance: Schedule routine inspections and maintenance of IT equipment, including checking for dust buildup, ensuring proper ventilation, and promptly addressing any electrical issues.
  • Fire Suppression Systems: Consider installing automatic fire suppression systems, such as sprinklers or specialized systems designed for data centers, to provide an additional layer of protection.
  • Employee Training: Educate staff members on fire safety protocols, including the proper use of fire extinguishers and evacuation procedures.
  • Fire Risk Assessment: Conduct a thorough fire risk assessment of your IT environment to identify potential hazards and develop a comprehensive fire safety plan.


Protecting IT equipment from fire hazards requires a multi-faceted approach, including selecting appropriate fire extinguishers tailored to the unique risks of IT environments. Organizations can minimize the risk of fire-related damage and ensure the uninterrupted operation of critical IT infrastructure by understanding the potential fire hazards, choosing the right extinguishing agents, and implementing best practices for fire safety. Investing in fire safety is not only a proactive measure but also a fundamental aspect of ensuring the resilience and longevity of IT systems in today’s digital age. Call us today for help finding the right extinguisher to use around computer equipment. Our contact info is 662-892-8723.

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