The Regulatory Reform Order in the UK puts a duty of care on what it describes as the 'Responsible Person' in every place of work to make sure that there's sufficient supply of fire fighting gear and this equipment is kept in good working order.

The Responsible Person is the person in control of the work premises, usually either the business owner or manager. This obligation may be shared in premises used by several organisations.

To put it differently, providing proper fire extinguishers in your place of work is not an optional extra, you're legally obliged to perform it. This article should help you to check the fire extinguishers you are the best type and that you've got enough of them in the appropriate places.

Bear in mind that having fire extinguishers in your office is not so that individuals are able to stick around and fight a fire, but in the event they are needed to simply exit the building safely.

Types of Fire Extinguisher - Colour Coding

Colour coding of fire extinguishers in the UK changed some time back to bring the UK in line with other European Union countries. Moving from a system where the entire fire extinguisher was a certain color to a displaying just a block of colour was seen by some as a backward step. The UK had an extremely effective system with fire extinguishers easily identifiable, but it had been viewed as easier to fall down to EU normal that try to attract all the other countries up to UK standard.

The color coding system today is that most fire extinguishers are red in colour, using a block of colour corresponding to the extinguisher type only over the operating instructions. The colour codes are as follows:

Water: red 
Carbon Dioxide: Dark 
Foam: cream 
Dry Powder: gloomy 
Wet Chemical: yellowish

What Each Different Type of Fire Extinguisher Is Used For

Water Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are best for use on fires involving everyday materials like wood, paper and materials. They generate a steady jet of water that may be directed on to the flame. These are not suitable for using on fires on live electrical equipment or burning fat or oil.

Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are idea for situations involving live electrical risks or flammable liquids. Because they are only producing a gas that they cause very little harm and so are good to be used on printers, photocopiers faxes, etc.. Even though they can be used perfectly on any electrical equipment, they cannot be guaranteed to not cause any harm whatsoever to delicate electronic devices and IT gear.

Foam Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are safe on the same sort of materials which you would use a water extinguisher on, and additionally may be used on flammable liquids like gas, gas, solvents and spirits. They produce a foam that seals in vapours to avoid the flame re-igniting. These extinguishers are not, however, appropriate to be used on deep fat fryers.

Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers

These are a versatile fire extinguisher, which can be used on fires with flammable gases like butane and propane. They are also secure on electric fires, but are most likely to cause more damage than a Carbon Dioxide extinguisher. Due to the nature of the fine powder created, they are not recommended for use in confined spaces or by people with breathing problems.

Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers

These fire extinguishers are the only kind that are suitable for use on burning oil such as cooking, fat or lard. The extinguisher generates a gentle spray that responds to seal the surface of burning oil or fat to stop it re-igniting.

Halon Fire Extinguishers

Halon fire extinguishers have been banned from the UK since, 2002, apart from very limited exceptional circumstances. The main reason behind the ban is the critical ozone depleting property of the inert gases they discharge into the atmosphere. In case you have any halon extinguishers on your place of work you want to organize for the secure disposal of those.

Types of Fire Extinguisher - How Many Should I Have?

For general work areas such as offices, shops and similar areas having no special hazards, you ought to be providing water fire extinguishers. Concerning the amount you want to supply, the official need is that you just need one for every 200 square yards of floor area, subject to a minimum of two fire extinguishers on every floor.

Where Should The Fire Extinguishers Be Located?

Unless an extinguisher has been provided to take care of a particular risk, they should be located at key points on your emergency escape routes. Key locations are adjacent to fire exit doors, near the exit from a floor or space, etc..

If an extinguisher is meant to cover a specific risk, like a sexy fat fryer at a kitchen, then it obviously needs to be sited from the area near to the hazard it pertains to.

The very best method of fixing is to attach your fire extinguishers to a wall with a special bracket. This places them in a good height for accessibility and visibility as well as offering a level of protection from being knocked over or moved. Where this is not feasible, you can get free standing units which the fire extinguisher sits. This helps to give them a much more permanent position than when they were just by themselves and makes them less inclined to be transferred or damaged.

Maintenance And Testing of Fire Extinguishers

Part of this obligation on the Responsible Person will be to properly maintain all of your fire fighting equipment, as it may also not be there if it's not in working order. The best method to guarantee this is to set up a maintenance contract with a specialist company to inspect your extinguishers at least annually. This will then give you documentary evidence that you've taken appropriate precautions, if anything go wrong in future.

In between inspections you should carry out your own regular checks. These will just entail recording the fact you've assessed that each extinguisher is in its own proper place and hasn't been discharged or ruined. You should maintain a record of the in a log book in case the Fire Authority wish to inspect it. Again the documentary evidence of your inspections could be rather useful. Find out more information click manhattan fire extinguisher