Did you know that you are responsible for fire safety in your business? As a responsible person, you could be fined or go to prison if you don't follow the minimum fire safety regulations. To follow these regulations, you need to conduct risk assessments, develop safety plans, offer training, and, most importantly, provide fire safety equipment. You'll need to start by supplying your business with fire extinguishers for the proper fire safety equipment. Here is all the information you need to know to get started. Table of Contents: \tWhat Are Commercial Fire Extinguishers? \tWhat Are Commercial Fire Extinguishers Used For? \tHow Many Fire Extinguishers Does My Business Need? \tHow To Use A Fire Extinguisher \tHow To Dispose Of A Fire Extinguisher 1. What Are Commercial Fire Extinguishers? As per fire safety regulations, commercial fire extinguishers are necessary for any commercial property. Depending on the business, commercial properties will need different types of fire extinguishers. There are more types of fire extinguishers than you may expect. The cause of the fire will determine the best method for extinguishing it, so equipping your building with more than one type of fire extinguisher may be required. You may think water is the solution to fire, but water isn't always a viable solution. In contrast, water can exacerbate some types of fires. To prevent fire from spreading, you must have the appropriate fire extinguishers and the training to use them. Do not use fire extinguishers on any fire outside of their designated classification. 2. What Are Commercial Fire Extinguishers Used For? Fire extinguishers are designed to extinguish specific types of fire. The main classes of fire extinguishers and corresponding fire classifications include the following: \tCO2: extinguishes fires caused by electricity \tWater: extinguishes fires caused by organic, solid material \tWater Additive: extinguishes fires caused by organic, solid material more effectively than water extinguishers \tAFFF Foam: extinguishes fires caused by organic solids and flammable/combustible liquids \tDry Powder: extinguishes fires caused by organic solids, flammable/combustible liquids, flammable gases, and combustible metals. \tWet Chemical: extinguishes fires caused by cooking fat and oil We explore Fire Extinguishers in more detail In addition to these fire extinguishers, it's also helpful (and possibly required for your business) to have fire blankets available. Fire blankets can smother hot oil fires as well as fire on clothing. If your business works with special chemicals or other flammable materials, you may need to supply specially made fire extinguishers. Refer to government fire safety guidelines or contact us to determine if special fire extinguishers are necessary for your commercial property. You can learn more about the types and uses of fire extinguishers in this handy article. 3. How Many Fire Extinguishers Does My Business Need? You can determine the minimum number of fire extinguishers based on qualified professionals' fire safety risk assessment. If you have more than five employees, you must have regular fire risk assessments. Annual fire risk assessments are necessary to find out how to minimise the risk of fire on your commercial property. These assessments are a legal requirement, but they also ensure the safety of you, your employees, and your customers. You can refer to the Regulatory (Fire Safety) Reform Order 2005 to see the regulations for fire risk assessments. Several factors will influence the required number of fire extinguishers: \tNumber of building floors \tFloor size \tFloor layout \tSpecial fire hazards \tUse of other fire prevention equipment Your Fire Risk Assessment will tell you how many fire extinguishers you require and where to place them. 4. How to Use a Fire Extinguisher You and your employees should be trained to use every type of fire extinguisher in the building. Before you or anyone else uses a fire extinguisher, someone should trigger the fire alarm to signal evacuation for everyone in the building. Then, in the event that the fire spreads, the alarm will prevent anyone from being caught in the fire. When to Evacuate These are the conditions in which you should not attempt to extinguish a fire: \tFire is spreading quickly \tFire is in multiple locations/not contained \tThe extinguisher is not fully charged/the wrong type Listen to them if your instincts tell you that the situation is too dangerous. Your and everyone else's safety should be the top priority. Ensure that everyone is trained in every aspect of your fire safety plan. In some scenarios, evacuation is a safer option than using fire extinguishers. If you have to evacuate, call 999 for the Fire Service. Fire Extinguisher Steps Here are the basic steps to using a fire extinguisher: \tPosition yourself between the fire and your evacuation route \tPull the pin to unlock the handle \tAim the nozzle towards the base of the fire \tSqueeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent \tSweep the nozzle from side to side, focusing on the base of the fire Once the fire has been extinguished, examine the area carefully for any remaining embers or small flames. 5. How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher Fire extinguishers require particular disposal since they are pressurised containers. In addition, depending on the fire extinguisher type, its contents may also be harmful to the environment if released. To recycle your fire extinguishers responsibly, take them to a registered ADR Recycling Centre. These centres know how to carry out chemical disposal and recycle the metals safely. Maximise Your Business's Fire Safety Use your newfound fire safety knowledge to create a safer work environment in your business. Remember to carefully reference fire safety regulations to protect your business from safety and legal issues in the future. Need commercial fire extinguishers today? Request a comprehensive fire risk survey here. At ClearView, we can survey your premises and determine what fire extinguishers are necessary for your business. We provide fire extinguisher maintenance services and fire extinguisher installation.