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The importance of fire extinguisher storage equipment

Fire extinguishers are potentially life-saving pieces of equipment and help protect property and ensure compliance with fire safety regulations. As a result, it’s vital that fire extinguishers are protected to ensure their effectiveness in the event of an emergency. Even minor tampering could leave a fire extinguisher inoperable, which is why the importance of protecting fire extinguishers is stipulated within British Standards (BS 5306).

Here, we discuss the risks of tampering and accidental damage to fire extinguishers and explain how you can help customers become British Standards-compliant with industry-leading fire extinguisher storage equipment.

Risks to fire extinguishers

Fire extinguishers must be installed in all public access environments and should be kept readily accessible. While this is crucial for ensuring fire extinguishers can be used in the event of a fire, the accessibility of fire extinguishers also leaves them susceptible to tampering and accidental damage, both of which can render them ineffective and not fit-for-purpose when needed. As a result, every effort must be taken to protect fire extinguishers from mistreatment.

How premises can protect fire extinguishers

Environments like leisure centres, retail premises, schools and hospitality venues must keep fire extinguishers suitable for the fire risks of the setting. Often highly populated areas, the risk of accidental damage, by knocking over or accidental discharge, or deliberate tampering is a real concern for fire safety. For example, a bent safety pin could be potentially disastrous in the event of a fire as it can become stuck, rendering the fire extinguisher ineffective. British Standards (BS 5306) states:

‘Measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of extinguishers being vandalised or stolen if relocation of the extinguisher to a more secure location is neither desirable nor practical. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, protection covers, boxes and audible alarms.’

To help your customers protect their fire extinguishers, the Commander Double Lockable Cabinet is perfect for storing up to two 9ltr/9kg fire extinguishers, effectively protecting them from accidental damage, using its extremely robust and chemical resistant ABS-plastic casing, and tampering with an innovative locking system. For a single storage option, you could also recommend your customers use the Commander Single Cabinet, which can house one fire extinguisher up to 9ltr/9kg.

How to protect fire extinguishers in outdoor environments

While the risks above still apply, fire extinguishers that are kept outdoors are also subject to additional risks, including sunlight and adverse weather. UV rays can lead to the label deteriorating and becoming hard to read, which would be a non-compliance with The Health and Safety (Fire Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 on clear fire extinguisher signage.

As well as this, cold temperatures can cause the contents and inner workings of fire extinguishers to freeze, rendering the unit ineffective in the event of a fire. Exceptions include the Commander Low-Freeze Additive Water Fire Extinguisher, which is pre-filled with anti-freeze to enable the unit to withstand lower temperatures than standard water fire extinguishers.

You can help your customers protect their outdoor fire extinguishers with the Commander Safety Box. Capable of housing up to four 6ltr/6kg fire extinguishers, this storage option is ideal for holiday parks, petrol forecourts, festivals and many more applications.

It’s imperative that every effort is made to protect fire extinguishers from accidental damage, tampering and environmental factors to comply with British Standards. To learn more about the fire safety of your customers’ industries, visit our industry-segmented Resource Centre for fire safety insights, guidance and advice.

The content of the CheckFire blog is for general information purposes only. While we make every effort to ensure accuracy at the time of publication, under no circumstances should it be considered professional advice. Any reliance you place on the information is at your own risk. Always seek the advice of a fire professional for your particular circumstances and requirements.
  • by Amy Moseley

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