For the majority of people fire extinguishers are invisible until a door needs to be propped open!
But the truth is they are an essential for first aid response to fire. According to a survey conducted by the fire industry association (FIA) revealed that 88% of all fires that are tackled with a portable fire extinguisher were extinguished.
Businesses have a specific duty of care for fire safety to those who use or visit their premises.Under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 the responsible person must provide and maintain appropriate fire-fighting equipment.
Guidance on what is deemed to be an adequate provision of portable fire extinguishers can be found in British Standard BS 5306. This covers selection and installation and can be found in Fire Guides published by Local Government.
Maintenance not only means annual servicing by a competent person but also includes weekly checks to ensure extinguishers remain readily accessible and in operational working order.
Even more Importantly the responsible person must provide adequate fire safety training to their staff. All staff are expected to know the location of fire protection equipment and basic operating procedures. In addition appropriate members of staff, such as fire marshals would need additional training.
Safety is paramount and no person should attempt to tackle a fire unless it is safe to do so. The primary use of a portable extinguisher is to aid escape in the event of a fire.
As detailed in the RFO, businesses that do not comply with legislation will face sanctions by the enforcing authority. These may include alterations notices, enforcement notices and prohibition notices. Failure to comply with these notices may result in prosecution and penalties (include fines, imprisonment or both.)
Portable fire extinguishers are a key element of fire safety measures for a building. Businesses are advised to provide staff with the appropriate training to enable them to raise the alarm and extinguish a small fire safely to prevent damage to property and potential loss of life.
If you are unsure of your legal responsibilities or require advice please contact our Service Desk to arrange a free no obligation survey & assessment. If you require fire extinguisher servicing or you would like information on our range of P50 Service free extinguishers please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 0800 090 1001.