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Fire Extinguisher Guidelines

Fire fighting equipment can reduce the risk of a small fire, e.g. a fire in a waste paperbin, developing into a large one. The safe use of an appropriate fire extinguisher to control a fire in its early stages can also significantly reduce the risk to other people in the premises by allowing people to assist others who are at risk.

In simple premises, having one or two portable extinguishers of the appropriate type readily available for use, may be all that is necessary. In more complex premises a number of portable extinguishers may be required and they should be sited in suitable locations, e.g. on the escape routes at each floor level. It may also be necessary to indicate the location of extinguishers by suitable signs.

Some premises will also have permanently installed fire-fighting equipment such as hose reels for use by trained staff or fire fighters.

People with no training should not be expected to attempt to extinguish a fire. However, all staff should be familiar with the location and basic operating procedures for the equipment provided, in case they need to use it. If your fire strategy means that certain people e.g. fire marshals, will be expected to take a more active role, then they should be provided with more comprehensive training.

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