Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Is a Matter of Life and Death
Posted: Sep 19, 2023
As a UK business owner or manager, it is important to take fire safety seriously and ensure that your premises are equipped with functional fire extinguishers. However, simply having them on your premises is not enough – it is equally important to ensure that they are properly maintained through regular servicing and inspection.
If a fire should break out and the fire extinguishers grabbed from the wall fails to go off then that literally can be the difference between life and death for your employees.
Here are some reasons why regular maintenance is important for health and safety in UK business premises:
Effective Fire Response
In the event of a fire, having a functional extinguishers can be critical in preventing the fire from spreading and causing significant damage. However, if a it is not properly maintained, it may not function as intended and may not be able to effectively put out a fire. Regular maintenance, including checking the pressure gauge and ensuring that the nozzle is clear of debris, can help ensure that your fire extinguishers will work as intended in the event of a fire.
Safety of Occupants
The safety of your employees, customers, and visitors is paramount, and ensuring that your extinguishers are in good working order can help prevent injuries and even save lives in the event of a fire emergency.
Regular maintenance of fire extinguishers can help prevent the need for costly repairs or replacement. In addition, a malfunctioning or damaged extinguishers may not be covered by insurance in the event of a fire, which can result in significant financial losses.
Peace of mind
Knowing that your extinguishers are in good working order can give you and your employees peace of mind, and can help ensure that everyone in your building is prepared in the event of a fire emergency.
Overall, regular fire extinguisher maintenance is essential for the health and safety of your UK business premises. It can help ensure compliance with regulations, increase the effectiveness and lifespan of your fire extinguishers, prevent injuries, save costs, provide peace of mind and very importantly it can save lives. Make sure to schedule regular inspections and maintenance with a competent and qualified professional to keep your fire extinguishers in top condition.
Legal Compliance Issues
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 in the UK requires companies to ensure that fire extinguishers are provided in the workplace where there is a risk of fire. In order to comply with the regulation, companies should take the following steps to ensure their fire extinguishers are in good working order:
- 1. Choose the right type of : The first step is to ensure that the company has the appropriate type and quantity of fire extinguishers based on the identified fire hazards in the workplace. Different types of fires require different types of extinguishers, and the quantity of extinguishers should be based on the size and layout of the building.
- 2. Service and maintainance: Fire extinguishers should be regularly serviced and maintained by a competent person to ensure that they are in good working order. This includes checking that the extinguishers are fully charged, the hoses are intact, and the safety pins are in place.
- 3. Accessiblity: Fire extinguishers should be located in easily accessible areas and should be clearly labelled with their type and use. They should also be located near fire exits and escape routes.
- 4. Training employees: All employees should be trained on how to use fire extinguishers and when to use them. This includes knowing the types of fires that can be put out with each type of extinguisher and when to evacuate instead of attempting to fight the fire.
- 5. Keep records: The company should keep records of all inspections and maintenance, as well as any training provided to employees.
By following these steps, companies can ensure that their fire extinguishers comply with the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 and that they are ready to be used in case of a fire emergency. Regular inspections and maintenance of fire extinguishers can help prevent the risk of fire and ensure that employees are prepared to use them in case of an emergency.
Bob Stevens works for Fire Control UK who are providers of all aspects of fire protection, including fire extinguishers, fire alarms and emergency lighting systems.