Extinguishers – the first line of defence against fires

 A new survey has highlighted the vital role that portable fire extinguishers play as a first response to fire.

According to the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the survey highlighted the increasingly important role that portable extinguishers play as a first response to fire, with 88% of fires tackled with a portable extinguisher being put out – an even higher figure than in the previous survey carried out in 2003.

As businesses have a specific duty of care for fire safety, they must appoint a responsible person to provide and maintain appropriate fire fighting equipment, and many companies sub-contract this activity to a competent outside company. Key requirements include: ·

  • installing the correct type of extinguisher. These are categorised into various classes according to the usage of the premises and materials kept 
  • all extinguishers should be accessible, correctly mounted and in appropriate and conspicuous locations
  • maintenance should be by a competent person and weekly checks made and logged confirming that they are accessible and in apparent working order
  • training must be given to staff on their use and on emergency procedures

Failure to comply with the requirements can result in sanctions by an enforcing authority.

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Extinguishers – the first line of defence against fires

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