Do I Need A Fire Extinguisher at Home
For all homes and businesses, keeping your family, employees or customers safe is paramount. This includes fire safety, but many homes and business owners are unsure about whether you need a fire extinguisher in your home or on their premises.
The answer depends on a number of factors, including the size of the premises, how many floors it has and other fire safety procedures you may have in place.
We’ve put together a list of everything you need to know about installing fire extinguishers in your home and/or business.
What is the minimum amount of fire extinguishers you need in a home or business?
Homes differ from businesses somewhat when looking at the legalities of fire safety. By law, you need to have a certain amount of Class A fire extinguishers in place in your business. This isn’t the case for domestic dwellings.
Class A fire extinguishers are the most common type of extinguisher and can be used to put out fires that have been caused by wood, paper, plastic and textiles.
The amount of Class A fire extinguishers you are legally required to have in place depends on the size of your premises. The British standard state that you need one extinguisher per 200m2 of floor space. And, if your business spans across multiple floors then it is a legal requirement to have two Class A extinguishers per storey of your building.
If your business is particularly small, one extinguisher may be permitted.
What type of fire extinguisher do I need?
As previously mentioned, Class A fire extinguishers are the most common and should be able to handle blazes that have been triggered by wood, paper, plastic and textiles, so for most businesses this would be sufficient.
However, if your business handles a lot of IT equipment then you should install carbon dioxide fire extinguishers. One of the few fire extinguishers that can cope with an electrical fire, these extinguishers are ideal if a fire breaks out in a server room or office space. Make sure to turn off all the power before using the extinguisher on these types of fires.
Other fire extinguishers worth considering include dry powder extinguishers for gas fires and wet chemical extinguishers for kitchen fires such as deep fat fryer blazes.
Before purchasing fire extinguishers for your home or business, it’s a good idea to take some time to look at all the options available and decide on a product that meets your needs.
What are the risks of not having the correct fire extinguishers in place?
The most obvious risk of not having fire extinguishers in place, or installing the wrong types, is that if the worst happens and a fire does break out peoples lives, including your family at home, are at risk.
But as well as putting them in harm’s way, if your property does not meet the appropriate fire safety legislation, then you could face legal action too.
Local fire authorities have the ability to carry out regular inspections and safety assessments on your premises to determine whether there is a fire safety risk. This will include reviewing the fire extinguishers you have in place.
Once the inspection has been completed you will be rated on how much of a risk your premises poses. If you’ve done your due diligence then these assessments shouldn’t be an issue. However, if they do make recommendations then it is important you address them immediately.
If you fail to rectify highlighted issues, could be hit with a hefty fine (there is no limit to the amount you can be fined) and even a prison sentence. The best way to assess the level of safety is to book a private risk assessment.
The team at KW Fire can visit your premises, perform a risk assessment and provide you with a report which will outline our findings. As well as this, they also provide Fire Alarms, Fire Extinguishers and other Fire Safety Equipment.