Extinguishers – the first line of defence against fires
A new survey has highlighted the vital role that portable fire extinguishers play as a first response to fire.
According to the Fire Industry Association (FIA), the survey highlighted the increasingly important role that portable extinguishers play as a first response to fire, with 88% of fires tackled with a portable extinguisher being put out – an even higher figure than in the previous survey carried out in 2003.
As businesses have a specific duty of care for fire safety, they must appoint a responsible person to provide and maintain appropriate fire fighting equipment, and many companies sub-contract this activity to a competent outside company. Key requirements include: ·
installing the correct type of extinguisher. These are categorised into various classes according to the usage of the premises and materials kept
all extinguishers should be accessible, correctly mounted and in appropriate and conspicuous locations
maintenance should be by a competent person and weekly checks made and logged confirming that they are accessible and in apparent working order
training must be given to staff on their use and on emergency procedures
Failure to comply with the requirements can result in sanctions by an enforcing authority.