What’s the difference between residential and commercial fire extinguishers?

20 May 2022

When managing a commercial property, companies need to ensure that safety is absolutely paramount. There’s no room for cutting corners, especially when it comes to fire management. Residential fire extinguishers tend to be cheaper and easier to get your hands on, but commercial properties require a fire extinguisher that is compliant and can deal with fires that might arise.

What are the current fire safety laws regarding fire extinguishers?

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

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. 

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 are the differences between residential and commercial fire extinguishers?


The main differences between residential and commercial fire extinguishers are the size and durability. Commercial properties are more susceptible to large scale fires and therefore need a fire extinguisher that can cope with defusing a larger fire. Residential fire extinguishers are better suited for handling small fires that originate as the result of wood, cloth, paper, fuel, or electrical shorts. Buying a residential fire extinguisher online or in a shop means you’re not completely sure if it’s the correct equipment or up to code. Having the wrong fire extinguisher, or one that can’t cope with a larger fire, can be fatal.


With a commercial fire extinguisher, companies have peace of mind that they’re maintaining compliance. When having fire extinguishers installed by Total Fire Group, you can rest assured that you’re getting safe and high quality fire extinguishers that are in line with regulations. All extinguishers are kite marked to BS EN3 and CE approved, and all of our engineers are BAFE qualified and the extinguishers we provide are fitted to BS5306 Part 8. Residential fire extinguishers might not be up to this spec, and when it comes to fire safety, want to be absolutely sure that you’re getting high-grade, dependable fire extinguishers. 


Do you know where the ideal spot is to keep fire extinguishers in your building? Getting it wrong can lead to disastrous consequences. 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. 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 imperative 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 service and maintain your commercial fire extinguishers

Ensuring you have fully serviced fire equipment is a vital part of your fire protection duties and part of that is choosing the right company to carry out your fire extinguisher service and maintenance.

At Total Fire Group, we know how important it is for both businesses and people to have confidence in the quality of their fire extinguishers. That’s why we provide a complete range of fire extinguishers, all kite marked to BS EN3 and covered by a 5 year warranty. Additionally, if you need fire extinguisher installation we can provide that too.

You must have your fire extinguishers serviced every 12 months with what’s known as a “basic service.” These fire extinguisher checks must be done in accordance with BS 5036-6 and you should always get your service carried out by a third party accredited fire extinguisher technician, with the correct tools, training and experience. Fire extinguisher servicing not only ensures that you’re complying with regulations, it ensures that your fire extinguishers are ready and in full working order – whenever you might need them.

We provide, service, and maintain fire extinguishers for various commercial industries – schools, retail, offices, hospitality and more. If you currently have a residential fire extinguisher for your commercial property, let us know and we’ll arrange a free survey to determine what’s needed. As fire safety specialists, we’re on hand for anything between advice on fire safety management, to fire risk assessments, to installing fire extinguishers. If you’d like to find out more, get in touch today.


We offer our clients a complete fire safety management service, our key services include:

Fire Risk Assessments

Delivering a comprehensive and detailed report on your property.

Fire Safety Consultancy

We can provide a partnership which offers auditing and consultancy services.

Fire Risk Management Software

Manage multiple risk assessment actions with our Aurora software.

Fire Safety Training

Our fire safety training courses cover every level of fire safety, from basic through to advanced.