The Importance of Fire Extinguisher Cabinets



Fire extinguishers are extremely important.  As vital life safety equipment, they save countless lives every year.  As with most life safety equipment, fire extinguishers must be regularly maintained, but don’t forget they can get damaged!  A damaged fire extinguisher might not work as expected, potentially putting lives at risk. We discuss the importance of using a fire extinguisher cabinet for better fire safety.

Let’s think about where you need to place your fire extinguisher. There are a few questions we must ask:

  • Is it outside? Cold winter can freeze an extinguisher, and rain can cause corrosion.
  • Is it in an area where the extinguisher is likely to be damaged? An example is on a construction site, or on a forklift route in a warehouse.
  • What about dirt and dust contamination? Many industries produce dust and debris, and this can stop an extinguisher working.
  • Are there vulnerable persons likely to tamper with it? This is a particular issue in some health establishments.
  • Is it in a high pedestrian area and will get dislodged?
  • Are there any chemicals used in the area that will have an adverse effect on it? A great example of this is a laboratory.
  • Will it be subject to vandalism? This can be a major issue in schools.
  • Or do we just simply want to protect the extinguisher and make it last longer?

And we could go on with that list. There are a huge range of applications and all have their own requirements.

Extinguisher selection and placement comes under a British Standard – BS5306 Part 8.  The Standard has a section that specifically covers this important topic of protecting your fire extinguishers.  Let’s see what the Standard has to say. That will help us get it right and get compliant.

“Extinguishers located in any public access environment e.g. schools, colleges, public houses, hotels and retail outlets, are susceptible to vandalism or being stolen. Even minor tampering could result in the extinguisher not operating when called on to do so in a fire situation. Measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of extinguishers being vandalized or stolen if relocation of the extinguisher to a more secure location is neither desirable or practical. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, protection covers, boxes and audible alarms.

Measures should be taken to protect the maintenance record affixed to the extinguisher.”

BS 5306-8:2012 paragraph 6.5.

So, in closing, it is very important that you consider whether your fire extinguishers are likely to get damaged or tampered with.  And if there is any possibility of this happening with any of your extinguishers, take measures to protect them.  We have a huge range of fire extinguisher protection, from simple PVC covers to protect against general dust, dirt, water and chemicals, to tough, durable and even alarmed extinguisher cabinets for the ultimate in protection and tamper resistance.

Check out our range online Life Safety Online.

To be compliant is to be safe. You have an obligation to make sure everyone is safe at times of emergency.

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