The types of fire extinguishers and the importance of them to reduce the risk of fire

Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), business principles and responsible people have a duty to protect people in the event of a fire.

The responsible person would generally be the owner, landlord or business director or even a member of staff who is delegated with responsibility for fire safety.

Fire extinguishers are essential equipment to help fight a fire should one breakout. A visual inspection should be carried out together with a periodic maintenance programme. A competent person who is qualified by training and has the experience to undertake the inspections and maintenance should carry out regular visual inspections of all the fire extinguishers within a property.

BS5306:3 Code of Practice for Fire Extinguisher Service and Maintenance provides recommendations on how to conduct a visual inspection. The points are as follows:

  • Each extinguisher is correctly located in the designated place;
  • Each extinguisher is unobstructed and visible;
  • The operating instructions of each extinguisher are clean and
    legible and face outwards.
  • Each extinguisher has not been operated and is not obviously
    damaged or has any missing parts.
  • The reading of any pressure gauge or indicator fitted to an
    extinguisher is within operational and safety limits.
  • The seals and tamper indicators of each extinguisher are not
    broken or missing.

There are four classes of fire extinguishers – A, B, C and D – and each class can put out a different type of fire.

  • Class A extinguishers will put out fires in ordinary combustibles such as wood and paper.
  • Class B extinguishers are for use on flammable liquids like grease, gasoline and oil.
  • Class C extinguishers are suitable for use only on electrically energised fires.
  • Class D extinguishers are designed for use on flammable metals.

If you employ 5 or more people records should be kept and it is a legal requirement to maintain a permanent record of all servicing, maintenance and inspections which could be audited by the Fire Services Inspectorate.

We can review your existing provision for extinguishers and provide you with a suitable service and maintenance programme to ensure you comply with current fire regulations. We can also carry out a full fire risk assessment of your business premises if required. This would, for example, include Fire Alarm Systems, Escape routes, Extinguishers and signage.

Please call 01543 225306 or fill out one of our contact forms to arrange a free fire risk assessment of your premises, to discuss your fire prevention needs, or to arrange a maintenance programme. Speak to one of our fully trained engineers today.

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