Different Kinds Of Fire Extinguishers And Their Uses
The Regulatory Reform Order at the UK puts a duty of care on which it describes as the'Responsible Person' in every place of work to ensure that there is sufficient provision of fire fighting equipment and that this equipment is maintained in good working order.
The Responsible Person is the individual in control of the work premises, usually either the business owner or manager. This responsibility can be shared in premises used by numerous organisations.
To put it differently, providing appropriate fire extinguishers in your place of work is not an optional extra, you're legally obliged to do it. This guide should help you to check the fire extinguisher you are the best type and that you've got enough of these in the right places.
Bear in mind that getting fire extinguishers in your workplace isn't so that people can stick around and fight a fire, but in case they are needed to help 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 states. Moving away from a system in which the entire fire extinguisher was a certain color to a demonstrating a block of color was seen by some as a backward step. The UK had a very effective system with fire extinguishers readily identifiable, but it had been seen as easier to drop down to EU standard that try to attract all the other states around UK standard.
The colour coding system today is that almost all fire extinguishers are red in colour, with a block of color corresponding to the extinguisher type only over the operating instructions. The colour codes are as follows:
Carbon Dioxide: Dark
Dry Powder: blue
Wet Chemical: yellowish
What Each Different Type of Fire Extinguisher Is Used For
Water Fire Extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are ideal for use on fires involving ordinary materials such as paper, wood and fabrics. They generate a steady jet of water which may be directed to the fire. These are not acceptable for using on flames on live electrical equipment or burning oil or fat.
Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are thought for situations involving live electrical dangers or flammable liquids. Because they are just producing a gas they cause very little harm and so are great for use on printers, photocopiers faxes, etc.. Though they may be utilized perfectly on any electrical equipment, they cannot be guaranteed not to cause any damage whatsoever to delicate electronics and IT gear.
Foam Fire Extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are secure on precisely the same sort of materials which you would use a water dispenser, and additionally may be used on flammable liquids like gas, diesel, solvents and spirits. They produce a foam which seals in vapours to prevent the flame re-igniting. These extinguishers are not, however, suitable to be used on deep fat fryers.
Dry Powder Fire Extinguishers
These are a flexible fire extinguisher, which may be used on fires with flammable gases such as butane and propane. They're also secure on electrical fires, but are most likely to cause greater harm than a Carbon Dioxide extinguisher. Due to the character of the fine powder created, they are not suggested for use in confined spaces or by people with breathing issues.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers
These fire extinguishers are the only sort that are acceptable for use on burning oil for example cooking fat or lard. The extinguisher generates a gentle spray that reacts to seal the surface of burning fat or oil to prevent it re-igniting.
Halon Fire Extinguishers
Halon fire extinguishers have been banned in the UK since, 2002, besides very limited exceptional conditions. The reason behind the ban is that the serious ozone depleting property of these inert gases that they discharge into the atmosphere. If you have any halon extinguishers on your place of work you need to arrange for the safe disposal of those.
Types of Fire Extinguisher - How Many Should I Have?
For general work places such as offices, shops and similar regions having no special hazards, you ought to be supplying water fire extinguishers. Concerning the number you need to supply, the official need is that you just need one for every 200 square yards of floor space, subject to a minimum of two fire extinguishers on each floor.
Where Should The Fire Extinguishers Be Located?
Unless an extinguisher has been provided to take care of a particular risk, they need to be located at key points in your emergency escape routes. Key locations are next to fire exit doors, close to the exit out of a floor or space, etc..
If an extinguisher is intended to cover a specific risk, like a hot fat fryer in a kitchen, then it obviously has to be sited from the area near to the danger it pertains to.
The best method of fixing would be to attach your fire extinguishers to a wall with a special bracket. This places them at a fantastic elevation for visibility and access in addition to offering a level of protection against being knocked over or transferred. Where this is not feasible, you can acquire free standing units that the fire extinguisher sits in. This helps to give them a much more permanent position than if they were just on their own and leaves them less likely to be transferred or damaged.
Maintenance And Testing of Fire Extinguishers
Part of the obligation about the Responsible Person is to correctly maintain all your fire fighting equipment, as it may as well not be there if it is not in working order. The very best method to ensure this is to set up a maintenance contract with a specialist business to inspect your extinguishers at least a year. This will then give you documentary evidence that you have taken appropriate precautions, if anything go wrong in future.
In between inspections you need to execute your regular checks. These can just entail recording the fact that you have checked that each extinguisher is in its appropriate place and has not yet been discharged or ruined. You should maintain a record of this in a log book in the event the Fire Authority want to scrutinize it. Again the documentary proof of your reviews might be very helpful.