The siting of fire extinguishers is extremely important. Extinguishers should be located in a noticeable position and available for immediate use at all times, they should be fitted on brackets or stands where they will be readily seen by any person following an escape route e.g. close to exits.
The aim is to encourage people to move towards the exit rather than go further into the building, and into danger, to find an extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are also often located near fire alarm call points so that someone can raise the alarm and then pick up an extinguisher.
Extinguishers should be sited so that it is not necessary to travel more than 30 metres to reach one. So, therefore, extinguishers can be 60 metres apart.
The 30-metre rule comes from current UK British Standards (BS 5306) and states that you should be no more than 30 metres from the appropriate extinguisher on any given level of your premises.
Specialist extinguishers, such as dry powder for Class C firesin areas such as boiler rooms and wet chemical extinguishers for kitchens (Class F), should be positioned within easy reach of, but not too near, the specific fire hazard, e.g. the boiler or the deep fat fryer. CO2 extinguishers should be placed within a server or plant room.
Travel distances for fire extinguishers
These are the maximum distances that someone should have to travel from the site of any fire to reach an extinguisher.
- Class A: 30m
- Class B: 10m
- Class C: 30m
- Class D: case-by-case, by expert advice
- Class F: 10m
Mounting fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers should normally be kept in a fixed position, they should be permanently mounted on wall brackets, floor stands, or in extinguisher cabinets in a conspicuous position.
This is to discourage people from moving them around, e.g. using them to prop doors open.
Small extinguishers (those weighing up to 4kg) should be mounted with the carrying handle 1.5 metres from the floor. Larger, heavier extinguishers should be mounted with the carrying handle 1 metre from the floor.
It is important that the extinguishers are securely mounted so that they do not become dislodged, fall, and injure people.
- If mounting brackets are used to position fire extinguishersit is important that they:
- Are suitable for the extinguisher.
- Fixed in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
- Allow the fire extinguisher to be easily removed in the case of a fire.
Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding Fire Safety including the legislation regarding Fire Alarms. Be sure to read our accompanying guides.