Fire extinguishers are important because they provide a means of quickly and easily extinguishing small fires before they have a chance to grow and spread. They can be used to put out fires in the early stages, when they are still small and manageable, and can help prevent fires from causing serious damage or injury.
All fire safety legislation in England and Wales for non-domestic premises is covered by the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO), which states that appropriate fire-fighting equipment, including portable fire extinguishers, must be provided where there is any risk of fire.
The RRO states that business owners and managers as designated Responsible Persons are responsible for carrying out a fire safety risk assessment and implementing and maintaining a fire management plan.
Since the law is not prescriptive in many areas, the fire safety risk assessment is crucial, and applies to all businesses, however small. The Responsible Persons should ensure staff are trained in extinguisher location and correct use, and hold fire drills and evacuation procedures. Failure to protect staff by providing appropriate equipment could lead to prosecution and refusal of insurance pay-outs, apart from injury and loss of life.
The provision and maintenance of fire extinguishers is also covered by BS5306, which gives guidelines as to which extinguishers to use where and on what type of fire, but also allows an element of choice.
AB Fire & Security are experts in fire safety and our trained fire extinguisher engineers can advise you of the correct type and number of extinguishers you require and the most suitable locations.
It is important to note that fire extinguishers are not a substitute for an automatic fire suppression systems such as sprinklers, alarms or gaseous systems. Fire extinguishers should be used as a complement to these systems in the event of a fire.
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Fire Extinguisher Servicing and maintenance
Extinguishers must be maintained in good working order. The Responsible Person should carry out monthly visual checks, but they must be serviced annually by a competent person.
A basic service should include checking it is in date, hasn’t been tampered with, is in good working order, with correct weight and pressure and has the correct signage and positioning.
Advice should be given on refilling/replacement or any additional extinguishers needed and the service recorded on the service label on the side.
UK fire extinguisher regulations recommend that extinguishers should be replaced or given an extended service/overhaul every 5 years. CO2 extinguishers should be replaced every 10 years, unless they are damaged or have been discharged. No extinguisher must ever be more than 20 years old.
AB Fire & Security can supply, fix, commission and provide on-going extinguisher maintenance to ensure you are fully compliant with the fire regulations.
Fire Extinguisher and Fire Warden Training
Under the Fire Safety Order 2005, it is a legal requirement in the UK to have at least one person trained on the correct use of the Fire Extinguishers, AB Fire & Security can provide Fire Extinguisher and Fire Warden training in line with the fire regulations.
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