Vehicle fires may not happen all that often but when they do, they pose a real threat on the UK’s roads and motorways.  For those who drive for a living, it is important to understand the risks of a potential vehicle fire and what equipment is best to carry.  Importantly, for some vehicles, like buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and vans, it is compulsory to carry a fire extinguisher.

The team at Hartson Fire would like to share this guidance on which fire extinguishers should be carried in a vehicle and which legislation applies to fire safety by the transport industry.

Fire Safety Legislation

Car drivers in the UK are not legally required to carry a fire extinguisher but it’s not a bad idea to do so, particularly if you travel a lot.  For a car, a 1kg or 2kg powder extinguisher, like these Commander Edge models, is ideal.

As mentioned, for buses, coaches, heavy goods vehicles and vans, the carriage of a suitable fire extinguisher is compulsory. Drivers of these types of vehicles must adhere to the regulations concerning the Carriage of Dangerous Goods (CDG) and ADR, which is a European agreement regarding the international carriage of dangerous goods by road. ADR regulations outline the minimum requirements for powder fire extinguishers.

Vehicles carrying hazardous materials with a mass of more than 7.5 tonnes should be equipped with a minimum total of 12kg powder fire extinguishers. Find more information about maximum permissible mass and fire extinguisher regulations at Health and Safety Executive here.

Benefits of Powder Fire Extinguishers

A dry powder fire extinguisher is extremely versatile. It’s multi-purpose and capable of tackling Class A (flammable solids), B (flammable liquids) and C (flammable gases) fires so it’s ideal for the many hazards and risks on the road. This type of fire extinguisher smothers the fire by producing a thick barrier between the fuel and the source of oxygen. A low minimum operating temperature means powder fire extinguishers are an ideal firefighting solution for vehicles, given they’re out on the road in the elements and sometimes freezing conditions.

Our Commander Edge powder fire extinguishers can be supplied with a transport bracket, allowing for easy fixing of the fire extinguisher in any vehicle. A secure bracket is required to prevent the fire extinguisher moving around and potentially becoming damaged (and unfit for purpose) in transit. Transport straps and brackets make the fire extinguisher suitable for many industries and applications, including public transport, HGVs, taxis, minibuses and vans.

Fire Extinguisher Servicing

As with all fire extinguishers, those used in the transport industry should be tested regularly as well as reguar maintenance and servicing to ensure they are in full working order. In fact, the Regulatory Fire Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005 states that fire fighting equipment “must be subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

In addition to offering a range of powder fire extinguishers, Hartson Fire also offers a comprehensive maintenance and servicing facility.  Read more here or call us today on the number below: