What fire extinguishers should your business have?

Fire extinguishers are an essential piece of fire safety equipment at any business. Designed to control the spread, and intensity of fire, extinguishers are there to protect your employees, assets, and premise from the devastating impacts of fire. Due to their integral role in fire protection, Fire extinguishers are also a legal requirement for businesses to stay compliant with fire safety laws.

The number and type of fire extinguishers required at your business is based on several different aspects including building type, size, location, fire hazards and the fire class risks that your business presents. Therefore, employing a professional fire safety company such as Lee, Fire & Security, will help ensure your business stays compliant and is correctly protected if a fire were to break out.

We understand the legal fire safety requirements and our BAFE accredited team will ensure that your business property holds the required type, weight and number of extinguishers for your specific requirements according to the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO).


Fire Extinguisher Types and Uses

Understanding the types of fire extinguishers and their uses, is vital in fire safety. If you know what potential fires your business could be dealing with, you can choose the correct fire extinguishers to safely tackle the fire before it spreads or intensifies.

There are five main fire extinguisher types:

  • Water (red label) – for combustible materials, such as paper or wood
  • Foam – (cream Label) for combustible materials and flammable liquids
  • Dry Powder (blue label) – for combustible materials, flammable liquids, flammable gases, flammable metals, and electrical equipment
  • CO2 (black label) – for flammable liquids and electrical equipment
  • Wet Chemical (yellow label) – for combustible materials and deep fat fryers

For most office environments, water fire extinguishers and CO2 fire extinguishers are often sufficient, but if your business uses or stores flammable liquids or gases, additional fire safety equipment may also be required.


Fire Classes

Fires are grouped into classes; these classes are based on the type of fuel involved, which helps determine which extinguisher should be used in the event of a fire. As with fire extinguishers, knowledge on the different classes of fire and what fuels that fire is important when selecting the appropriate fire extinguishers for your business

There are six main class of fire:

  • Class A: solid materials such as wood or paper, fabric, and some plastics
  • Class B: liquids or gas such as alcohol, ether, gasoline, or grease
  • Class C: electrical failure from appliances, electronic equipment, and wiring
  • Electrical fires: electrical equipment such as computers or and generators
  • Class D: metallic substances such as sodium, titanium, zirconium, or magnesium
  • Class K: grease or oil fires specifically from cooking


Fire Extinguisher Safety Laws

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) specifies that all workplaces should have a minimum of two Class A fire extinguishers accessible on each storey of the building. The UK British Standards (BS5306) also stipulates that you should be no more than 30 metres from the correct fire extinguisher on any level of your business’s premises.

These rules apply to most UK businesses, except for very small businesses, such as food vans or newspaper kiosk. If the housing of two fire extinguishers would obstruct access or exit routes, only one extinguisher is required.

Another fire safety law requirement for extinguishers is visibility. Fire extinguishers should be clearly indicated with luminescent signs. The luminescent element of fire safety signage is to ensure that the location of the extinguishers is always visible. Fire extinguisher safety signage should also clearly explain which type of extinguisher they are, how they should be used and what fire they should be used on.


Get Help with Your Businesses Fire Extinguishers

If you are unsure which extinguishers your business requires, Lee, Fire & Security are here to help. Our expert team of fire safety experts provides peace of mind that your visitors, staff, and premises are best protected from the outbreak of fire and that your building is legally compliant to the latest safety regulations.

With over 35 years of experience in the fire safety sector, Lee, Fire & Security provides certificated BAFE SP101 fire extinguishers to businesses throughout North London and the surrounding areas. To keep your premises compliant and protected from fire, contact us today using our contact form, or alternatively, call 0800 731 3365.