BBQ Fires: Powder Extinguishers vs Foam Extinguishers vs Fire Blankets

BBQ fire safety products

    In an ideal world there would be no BBQ fires. We’d be able to enjoy our fair weather treat in peace without the fear of fire, however, it’s an ever-present issue that we should all consider. Also in an ideal world, we’d all have an array of safety products to protect us should the worst happen. But if you were going to buy just one (after all, something is better than nothing!) should you buy a powder extinguisher, foam extinguisher, or fire blanket?

    BBQ Fires

    BBQ fires can happen for many reasons depending on what type of BBQ it is – you can find a detailed guide here.

    They can happen, and spread, quickly due to the open flame and fats in the food cooked on them.

    Accidental BBQ fires are generally quite common during the summer months however there are pieces of safety equipment you can invest in to try and tackle small BBQ fires before they get out of hand.

    Powder Extinguisher

    There are many small powder extinguishers on the market, generally 1 or 2kg. These small extinguishers are a great size for keeping discreetly in your home, garden shed, or garage.

    Lightweight and easy to use, these extinguishers work by forming a barrier between the fuel and oxygen, smothering the flames.

    They are multi-use extinguishers and work on class A (combustible materials), class B (flammable liquids) and class C (flammable gases) fires.

    This makes them an ideal extinguisher to have on your property.

    They should not, however, be used in enclosed spaces as the agent can be harmful if breathed in and can be difficult to clean up post-use.

    Foam Extinguisher

    Foam fire extinguishers for use at home often come in 500ml-2 litre sizes. They can be in both aerosol and classical extinguisher forms.

    Foam extinguishers work on class B (flammable liquid) fires and work in 2 ways. They are water-based and cool the liquid, but they also form a film over the fire and block the oxygen, similar to the powder extinguisher.

    The downside with these extinguishers is that they cannot be used on gas or electrical fires, so if that describes your BBQ, you’re out of luck with this one!

    Fire Blanket

    Fire blankets are multi-purpose piece of firefighting kit. Presented in a small, discreet bag or box, it can be stored easily around your home ready for use when needed.

    For BBQ fires you would need to ensure that the fire blanket you have is of a sufficient size to cover the entirety of the BBQ. This can then smother the flames and prevent oxygen getting to the fires – removing one side of the fire triangle (heat, oxygen, fuel).

    The downside with fire blankets is that you will need to be comfortable with placing the blanket over the fire. If you are not able to safely do so, then it will not work.

    Overall, though, you need to use whatever you would be comfortable using if needs be, and whatever will give you peace of mind.

    If you’d like more information about fire extinguishers, BBQs and safety information, have a read through our blog here.

    The Firechief range includes high-performance fire extinguishers, fire blankets, first aid kits, lithium-ion fire extinguishers and the Kitchen Stove Guard.  For more information, call us on +44 (0)330 999 0019 or email

    The information contained within this blog is provided solely for general informational and educational purposes and is not intended as a substitute for professional advice. Before taking any actions based upon this information, we advise the reader to consult any and all relevant statutory or regulatory guidance and where necessary to consult a qualified fire or industry regulation professional. The use or reliance on any information contained herein is solely at the reader’s risk.