Fire extinguishers are potentially life-saving pieces of equipment and help protect property and ensure compliance with fire safety regulations. As a result, it’s vital that fire extinguishers are protected to ensure their effectiveness in the event of an emergency. Even minor tampering could leave a fire extinguisher inoperable, which is why the importance of protecting fire extinguishers is a stipulation within the BS 5306 British Standards.

The team at Hartson Fire have come up with these guidelines to help prevent tampering and accidental damage to fire extinguishers and how you can ensure your premises is compliant with these BS standards.

Risks to Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers must be installed in all public access environments and should be kept readily accessible. While this is crucial for ensuring fire extinguishers can be used in the event of a fire, the accessibility of fire extinguishers also leaves them susceptible to tampering and accidental damage, both of which can render them ineffective and not fit-for-purpose when needed. As a result it’s really important to protect fire extinguishers from mistreatment.

How to Protect Fire Extinguishers

Spaces such leisure centres, retail premises, schools and hospitality venues must have fire extinguishers in place which are suitable for the fire risks of the setting. In highly populated areas, the risk of accidental damage, by knocking over or accidental discharge, or deliberate tampering can be a real concern when it comes to fire safety.

The British Standards (BS 5306) states:

‘Measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of extinguishers being vandalised or stolen if relocation of the extinguisher to a more secure location is neither desirable nor practical. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, protection covers, boxes and audible alarms.’  See more here.

To help protect your fire extinguishers, our Commander Double Lockable Cabinet is perfect for storing up to two 9ltr/9kg fire extinguishers, effectively protecting them from accidental damage, using its extremely robust and chemical resistant ABS-plastic casing, and tampering with an innovative locking system. We also stock the Commander Single Cabinet, which can house one fire extinguisher up to 9ltr/9kg.

Protecting Fire Extinguishers in an Outdoor Setting

Fire extinguishers that are kept outdoors are subject to additional risks as well as those listed above, including sunlight and adverse weather conditions. UV rays can lead to the label deteriorating and becoming hard to read, which would make it non-compliant with The Health and Safety (Fire Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996 which relates to clear fire extinguisher signage.

 What’s more, cold temperatures can cause the contents and inner workings of fire extinguishers to freeze, rendering them ineffective in the event of a fire.  You can protect your outdoor fire extinguishers with the Commander double or single cabinet or with one of the Commander Fire Extinguisher jackets.

The PVC cover on these jackets provides an economical and unobtrusive solution for protection for your fire safety equipment. It features a large clear vision panel so the extinguisher can be quickly identified in times of need and has Velcro straps for ease of application.

Hartson Fire

If you want advice or guidance on the types of fire extinguishers you need for your business and how to protect from damage, call us today on the number below: