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Fire Extinguishers

Choosing a Fire Extinguisher

When choosing a Fire Extinguisher, whether for institutional or domestic use, there are several important factors to consider, relating to both legislative, legal requirements and the most pressing fire hazards that your environment faces.

  • Fire Extinguisher Class Rating and Type: As outlined above, there are 5 letter designations for Fire Extinguishers, which correlate to their class rating and type of fire that they're suitable for (A, B, C, D and F). Some Fire Extinguishers are also referred to as Class E, for fires caused by Electrical Equipment, however BS 5306-8 (Clause 7.1) states that for fires involving electrical equipment there is no recognised classification for this additional type of fire. Electricity in itself does not burn but can cause fires in class A, B, C, D and F materials. Class D Fire Extinguishers are also often dismissed from general sale, due to their specialised nature. Class D Fire Extinguishers are used when tackling fires involving combustible metals such as titanium, magnesium and sodium and are therefore less commonly found in general workplaces or offices where these materials most likely are not present. Choosing the right Fire Extinguisher for your needs is vital and should be established by a risk assessment.
  • Size and Capacity: The size and capacity of your desired Fire Extinguisher should be decided on by the size of the area they will protect and the potential fire hazards they might combat. For larger areas, you may need larger or multiple fire extinguishers. Ensure that the extinguisher capacity complies with any and all relevant regulations.
  • Standards and Regulations: Familiarise yourself with the relevant national, regional, or local regulations and standards that govern Fire Extinguisher requirements in your area. For example, in the United Kingdom, the standards and regulations for Fire Extinguishers are primarily governed by the British Standards Institution (BSI) and the Fire Safety Order (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005). The key standards to consider are BS EN 3, BS 5306 and Fire Safety Order (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005).
  • Maintenance and Inspection Requirements: Fire Extinguishers require regular maintenance and inspections to ensure they are in good working condition and compliant with fire safety regulations. Ensure you consider this factor, even after purchasing your Fire Extinguisher to keep your equipment updated to evolving standards.

By carefully evaluating these factors, you can choose a Fire Extinguisher that not only suits your immediate needs but also provides long-term value and protection against fire related hazards.

Top Fire Extinguisher Brands

Moyne Roberts
Eastern Extinguishers
More information and legislation regarding Fire Extinguishers and general Fire Safety can be found on the HSE, BAFE, BSI and GOV UK websites.

Other Fire Safety Products