If you have fire extinguishers installed in your property, from time to time you’re going to need some new ones. Whether it’s to replace a damaged or expired extinguisher, or whether you need some different types to cover a change of fire risk or layout, you’ll need to buy some at some point. Here at GetTesting, we keep a stock of extinguishers available for same day installation for urgent requirements, or next day delivery if it’s less urgent.

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Do I need fire extinguishers?

If you own or operate a building that is classed as non-domestic in England and Wales, your fire safety legislation is covered by the RRO – Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The RRO states quite simply that fire safety equipment must be provided where there is any risk of a fire. This includes portable fire extinguishers.

 

Business owners, directors and managers are responsible for carrying out a Fire Risk Assessment (FRA) as responsible persons, and implementing and maintaining a fire management plan. As a bigger picture, this will incorporate many facets of fire safety management, such as avoiding fires through regular PAT testing, ensuring your electrical systems are to standard by carrying out an EICR, making sure flammable liquids are stored correctly through proper COSHH management and even checking that waste levels, especially items such as cardboard boxes or surplus pallets are stored correctly and removed frequently.

As you go through the process of the FRA, you’ll identify the different risks you have in your premises that could cause different types of fires, such as electrical, flammable liquids and combustible solids like in the examples above. You should then provide suitable portable fire extinguishers to be able to extinguish any possible fires.

 

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How many portable fire extinguishers do I need?

The regs state that you should have a minimum of 2 portable extinguishers per floor, with a combined minimum rating of 26A. If the floor area is less than 100m², then one extinguisher of at least 13A may suffice.

For larger sites, the specific risks should be covered first, and a simple calculation will then tell us how many more extinguishers you need spread around the building. If you're fitting out a new building or a complete change of layout, ask about our design service.

Do new fire extinguishers need servicing?

The short answer is yes. Many online sellers forget to inform you of this and just take your money & ship you the extinguishers. A new extinguisher should go through a special procedure called commissioning. It's very similar to a basic service, with some additional extras such as installing the correct signage, bracket, stands and filling out the required labels. It should be undertaken by a suitably competent person (that is someone with relevant experience, training, tools and literature). If you don't have anyone suitable in your organisation to do this, check out our fire extinguisher installation service here.

Once commissioned, you should then service your fire extinguisher annually in line with BS5306-3.

How much do they cost?

Portable fire extinguishers vary in price depending on their size and type. Small aerosol types suitable for use in vehicles are available from £15 and a 6L water or 2kg CO2 extinguisher from £25. Specialist extinguishers, such as wet chemical for deep fat fryers (£100-150) or Class D for flammable metals (£200+) start to get more expensive and Lith-Ex extinguishers, for Lithium battery fire risks are currently in the £300+ region. As with most things, the larger you need and the more complex the risk, the more expensive the extinguisher.


Do you need any new fire extinguishers? Get in touch for a quotation or to arrange a site visit

Call us today on 01332 460850 or Get a Quote online

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the different colour codes on a fire extinguisher?

BSEN3 is the standard that dictates fire extinguishers should be 95% red with up to 5% of another colour to identify the type of extinguisher. The different colour codes are:
Water = Red
Dry Powder = Blue
Foam = Cream
CO2 = Black
Wet Chemical = Yellow

Why are there different types of fire extinguisher?

Different types of fires have different characteristics. What they are fuelled by significantly alters how they must be extinguished. The different extinguishers are then located in different areas of the building to ensure that the risks of that area are sufficiently covered.

Are any fire extinguishers all purpose?

None can ever be sold as ‘all purpose’ as some specialist materials will require specialist extinguishing equipment, however some extinguishers are ‘multi-purpose’ and can extinguish different types of fires.

What types of fire extinguishers can be used on what types of fires?

This handy graphic shows you exactly what type of fire each extinguisher can be used on. If you’re not sure or if you have specialist risks such as flammable metals, please get in touch for details of our risk assessment & fire extinguisher selection service.

 

How often should a fire extinguisher be serviced?

<strong>At least</strong> once per year, with annually being the most common frequency of servicing.

How do you dispose of a fire extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers must be disposed of by a competent person. If they are under pressure they are extremely dangerous and should never be placed in general waste. The contents must be disposed of in different ways depending on what they are. The bodies, once empty and unpressurised, are mostly metal and will be sent for recycling once made safe by a fire extinguisher engineer. To make it simple we can deal with this for you while servicing.

Can you refill extinguishers?

Mostly, yes, although it depends on the type. Refilling Dry Powder extinguishers is not straightforward as the valves require cleaning to make sure the power has not contaminated it on discharge. Aerosol type extinguishers are sealed and cannot be serviced. For some types, it’s cheaper to buy new &amp; recycle the old extinguisher than to refill.

What height should extinguishers be stored at?

Any extinguishers over 2kg, and a 2kg CO2, should have their handles mounted at 1m from the floor level.
Any fire extinguishers smaller than this, should have their handles mounted at 1.5m from the ground.