Fire extinguisher installations for new build premises

26 April 2022

The most important thing to consider with a new build, whether its purpose is apartments or offices, is safety. Things can go wrong quickly, so preparation and prevention is key. In case of a fire, fire extinguisher installation is crucial for defusing a situation before it becomes an emergency. Especially when many new builds are tower blocks, the risk of being unable to evacuate safely becomes greater. 

What are the current fire extinguisher regulations?

The Regulation Reform (fire safety) Order 2005 covers all fire safety legislation for non-domestic buildings. All regulations that govern the use of fire extinguishers are covered in the Order and practically all commercial buildings fall under these regulations. 

Every new build is required to have a fire safety risk assessment. The Regulatory Reform Order places responsibility on a named Responsible Person who will carry out a risk assessment, identifying any possible risks and ensuring that people on the premises can evacuate safely.

An assessment will also help determine areas that are at a higher risk of fire, therefore require a fire extinguisher closeby. The Responsible Person needs to make sure that everyone working at the premises knows where the fire extinguishers are and how to use them. In terms of general fire safety, it’s also incredibly important that everyone knows the safest way to evacuate a building. Fire drills are the best way to ensure that everyone knows evacuation routes and to identify anything in the fire risk assessment that’s been missed. 

The proper steps need to be taken to ensure a safe and compliant environment. If workers aren’t properly trained in the equipment and knowledge needed in the event of a fire, this could result in serious injuries or even death. In this case, most insurance companies won’t pay for any damages on grounds of negligence.

What types of equipment should be installed in commercial buildings?

The type of equipment you have on your premises will determine what types of extinguishers you need. The most common being the CO2 extinguisher, used to put out electrical fires. According to fire extinguisher regulations in the UK, all commercial buildings with electrical equipment must have at least 2kg CO2 extinguishers to be compliant with fire safety laws. That’s anything electrical, even a toaster or a computer.

A water (or Foam/AFFF) based fire extinguisher is the most commonly used. They’re the ‘original’ fire extinguisher, and important to have around in most commercial buildings. They’re used on flammable solids such as paper, wood, and textiles – these are known as Class A fires. They are not, however, to be used on electrical fires whatsoever. It’s imperative that the Responsible Person and workers at the premises are aware what fire extinguishers are to be used depending on the type of fire. 

Where should fire extinguishers be located?

Water based and CO2 extinguishers are considered to be the ‘standard pair’. A fire risk assessment will determine where the highest risks of fire are, from which a fire extinguisher should never be far away. They’re also typically located near fire exits and fire alarm call-points. Larger buildings might have to increase the number of fire extinguishers they provide but they should always follow the 30 metre rule.

UK British Standards (BS5306) state that you should never be more than 30 metres away from a fire extinguisher on any given level of the premises. They should also be attached to a stand or fixed to a wall to ensure people don’t move them unnecessarily. Of course, to have complete peace of mind that you’re remaining compliant, a professional fire safety specialist is needed.

Fire extinguisher installation is extremely serious, and it’s important to remain compliant. Not only to abide by the law, but to keep employers and other people in the building as safe as possible.

How Total Fire can help with your fire extinguisher installation

Installing fire extinguishers is just the beginning to maintaining a fire safe and compliant new build. Ensuring you have fully serviced fire equipment is a vital part of your fire protection duties, part of that is choosing the right company to carry out your fire equipment service and maintenance. 

We can provide a service and maintenance package tailored to your needs, ensuring you are fully compliant and your fire extinguishers are ready and in full working order – whenever you might need them. As fire safety consultancy specialists, we work with a range of commercial businesses, ensuring their fire extinguishers are serviced and maintained, as well as carrying out fire risk assessments and training. We also have our own fire risk assessment software to streamline your fire safety protocols. If you have multiple businesses, or multiple business sites, carrying out numerous fire risk assessments can be a lot of work. Our revolutionary software helps you keep track of those sites and the actions within them, all in one place. Contact us to have a quick chat about how we can best help you, or you can book a free demo to see our fire safety software in action.

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Fire Risk Assessments

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