If you’re planning to put up fire extinguishers in your UK business premises, you’ll need to know everything about fire extinguisher legislation in the UK first. Failure to comply with fire safety law can have severe consequences, including heavy fines and potentially even imprisonment in the most serious cases.
This guide will tell you everything you need to know about fire extinguisher legislation, including what types of businesses are required to have fire extinguishers, how many fire extinguishers they must have, and much more.
What You Should Know about fire extinguisher Legislation:
Under The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, Britain’s fire safety laws were overhauled. Under these reforms, many businesses now have legal requirements regarding fire extinguishers legislation. For example, large public buildings (including offices and shops) must have a fire risk assessment carried out at least once every three years by a suitably qualified person. If you run or manage such premises, you will be legally required to check its accuracy and update it as necessary.
Who Has To Comply?
All non-domestic premises in England and Wales (i.e. offices, shops, warehouses) must comply with fire regulations by law and should be fitted with at least one fire extinguisher by law. In Scotland, it is mandatory for all commercial premises over 280m2 to have an extinguisher installed on each level of your building unless it has a sprinkler system installed. This is also true for industrial factories or workshops but all domestic homes are exempt from having to do so by law.
Currently under new legislation across England, Wales and Scotland there are plans in place to further increase requirements for fire safety which will mean that there may soon be more stringent rules that you need to follow when it comes to storing and operating fire extinguishers. If you operate a commercial business then you need to ensure that you look into these changes if they apply in your area; any amendments will likely take place between October 2015 and April 2016 depending on where you’re located.
What Is A Fire Extinguisher Law?
By law, all commercial buildings must have fire extinguishers installed in specified areas. There are also laws that govern where you can use a fire extinguisher and what types of extinguishers are appropriate for specific types of fires. This post will cover those rules so you know exactly how to use your fire extinguisher.
Where must fire extinguishers be located?
Most businesses with two or more employees are required by law to keep a fire extinguisher somewhere on site. The exact location of your fire extinguishers will depend on a number of factors, but you should always store them in an easily accessible location—ideally not behind locked doors or cabinets. In fact, British Standard 5609:2009 recommends that all portable fire extinguishers be clearly labeled and visible within 90 seconds.
Every workplace with a fire extinguisher must display signage detailing what type of extinguisher it is and how to use it. This helps employees understand what they’re dealing with before an emergency occurs, as well as providing them with instructions on what steps to take during one. The regulations regarding fire extinguishers can vary depending on your location, but there are universal signs that indicate a high-risk area such as chemistry or electric departments. Regardless of where you live, these signs denote spaces where fires are most likely to occur.
Fitting of fire extinguishers:
All fire extinguishers must be serviced and examined every year by a competent person or company. It is illegal for an individual to fit an extinguisher themselves, even if they have had previous experience. Companies who install and maintain fire extinguishers must have public liability insurance. There are certain situations where it is not necessary to fit an automatic fire extinguishing system; these are outlined on page 52 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005.
How The Law Affects Businesses And Individuals?
So, fire extinguishers have been around for a while, but they’re not something that has ever really been regulated—this means that businesses and individuals can buy whichever ones they want. That’s all about to change. The new regulations will be coming into force from 17th January 2015, and affect how businesses can purchase and use extinguishers.
Servicing of fire extinguishers:
In England, Scotland and Wales you are required by law to have a portable fire extinguisher at hand. There is no regulation for their servicing and it’s down to each company how often they should be serviced. They should be serviced every year, but some companies will service them after 6-12 months or even longer than that.
It’s best to check with your company what their policy is if you are unsure or concerned. If not serviced, a fire extinguisher can become faulty due to exposure to different temperatures which then won’t give out adequate amounts of pressure needed when fighting a fire. This could mean more time would be needed on site dealing with potentially serious issues as well as costing more money.
Showing compliance with servicing regulations:
Using a fire extinguisher is one of those tasks you may have had training on, but still find it challenging when it comes time to use one in an emergency. This could be because it has been some time since your last training and you’ve forgotten what to do. Regardless of why, having a fire extinguisher that has not been serviced can potentially create more problems than it solves.
That’s because under current fire extinguisher legislation such devices are classed as safety equipment. If they haven’t been checked for 20 years or if they have expired then they cannot legally be used at all.
Also read:-Fire extinguisher legislation https://fire-risk-assessment-network.com/blog/fire-extinguisher-regulations/