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Fire extinguishers at work

Fire extinguishers at work

Fire extinguishers at work – here’s everything you need to know…

Fire safety in the workplace is a topic that nobody can afford to overlook. One crucial aspect of this is understanding and utilising fire extinguishers in the workplace effectively. Let’s delve into the different types of fire extinguishers and their appropriate uses to ensure you’re well-equipped to handle potential fire incidents.

Do I need fire extinguishers?

Yes – It has been a legal requirement since October 2006 for the owner/manager of virtually every kind of premises to ensure the safety of visitors by installing the right type of fire extinguishers i.e. workplaces, public buildings, and rented accommodation. Any fire extinguisher you have, should have been commissioned by a professional extinguisher engineer.

Understanding Fire Extinguishers at Work:

Fire extinguishers at work are your first line of defence in the event of a fire emergency. They come in various types, each designed for specific classes of fires. The four main types are water, foam, dry powder, and CO2 extinguishers. It’s essential to know which type is suitable for the different fire risks that may arise.

Water Fire Extinguishers:

Water extinguishers are effective for tackling fires involving wood, paper, and textiles. However, they should never be used on electrical or grease fires, as water conducts electricity and can spread grease fires.

Foam Fire Extinguishers:

Foam extinguishers are versatile and suitable for fires involving flammable liquids like petrol, diesel, or oil. Like water extinguishers, they are not appropriate for electrical fires.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers:

Dry powder extinguishers are a go-to choice for fires involving flammable gases and electrical equipment. They are effective for a range of fire types but can create a temporary reduction in visibility when used indoors.

CO2 Fire Extinguishers:

CO2 extinguishers are designed for electrical fires and are also effective for fires involving flammable liquids. They work by removing the oxygen element, making them safe to use on electronic equipment.

Wet Chemical Extinguishers:

Wet chemical extinguishers are designed primarily for combating kitchen fires involving cooking oils and fats. These extinguishers employ a specially formulated wet chemical agent that reacts with the burning oil, creating a soapy layer on the surface. This layer acts as a barrier, preventing the release of flammable vapours and, in turn, suppressing the fire. Wet chemical extinguishers are crucial in environments where the potential for grease fires is high, such as commercial kitchens.

Operating a Fire Extinguisher:

Knowing how to operate a fire extinguisher is as crucial as understanding the types. Remember the acronym PASS: Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep from side to side.

fire extinguishers at work

Importance of Knowing Extinguisher Locations:

Equally important is knowing the location of fire extinguishers throughout the workplace. Familiarise yourself with their placements, ensuring they are easily accessible. In the chaos of an emergency, quick access to a fire extinguisher can make a significant difference. Your workplace should also hold regular refreshers with staff so everyone is aware of extinguisher locations.

Extinguisher Servicing:

Extinguishers must be serviced by a trained engineer annually. An extinguisher which is well maintained and serviced could potentially save lives. So, although the extinguisher may have a warranty, you must still ensure you’re looking after the equipment as the responsible person. Furthermore, servicing will inform you of any issues with the extinguisher, and it is far better to have a warning, rather than waiting until it’s too late. As well as being a legal requirement, it will also give you peace of mind as a business owner. Your insurance company may also ask for a copy of your inspection certificate, as we often encounter situations where companies’ insurance has been voided due to insufficient equipment or checks.

Ardent Safety’s Fire Extinguisher Supply Service

Whether you’re looking to replace a worn-out fire extinguisher or fully equip a new property or place of work, we can provide you with everything you need. Find out more HERE or get in touch to arrange for a FREE site visit or to chat about your extinguisher needs over the phone on 01229 361005 or email [email protected].

Fire extinguishers in the workplace play a pivotal role in ensuring the safety of everyone. Understanding the different types and their appropriate uses, knowing how to operate them, and being aware of their locations are essential components of a robust fire safety plan. By being well-informed and prepared, you contribute to creating a safer work environment for yourself and your colleagues!

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01229 808320
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