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Fire Extinguishers
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Extinguisher Guide

Links to Fire Safety Sections

Section 1: Fire Extinguisher Guide
Section 2: Types of Fire Extinguisher
Section 3: How to use a Fire Extinguisher
Section 4: Positioning & Number Needed of Fire Extinguishers


As a whole, most large fires start as small fires, often of a size that can be easily tackled by suitably trained staff using portable fire extinguishers. It is therefore possible for action by people to effectively prevent the development of a fire that would pose a threat to property, business and human life. Early action to control a fire can also enable people to assist others, such as disabled people, residents in a care home, children or patients in a hospital, who are at a greater risk in the event of a fire.

Legal Requirements

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 which applies to virtually all premises other than residential dwellings, requires that, where necessary in order to safeguard everyone who is lawfully on, or in the immediate vicinity of, the premises, the premises must be equipped with appropriate fire-fighting equipment. This requirement is supplemented by a requirement to take measures for fire-fighting, adapted to the nature of the activities carried on, the size of the undertaking and of the premises concerned.

The necessity of fire-fighting equipment under the Order may arise from the features of the premises, the activity carried on in the premises, the fire hazards or any other relevant circumstances. Establishment of the need for fire-fighting equipment arises from a fire risk assessment and it is likely to be extremely rare for any fire risk assessment to determine that the provision of such equipment is not necessary.

Official Guidance

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order is supported in England & Wales by eleven guides produced by the department for communities and Local Government (DCLG). The guides advocate the provision of fire-fighting equipment in premises, and they provide recommendations for the selection and siting of appliances.

Fire Extinguisher Guide