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How do you choose the correct Fire Extinguisher for your premises?

The types of Fire Extinguishers and their uses

Under the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order 2005 the Responsible person has a general duty to take general fire precautions.  Article 4 (1) defines measures in relation to the means for fighting fires on the premises.

The responsible person must ensure that:

The numbers and type of portable Fire Extinguisher that should be present in the property depends on the size of the premises, the type and nature of the operations being carried out and the nature of any substances present.

How are fires classified?

The types of fire hazards in your business will help determine what type of fire is most likely to break out. In the majority of situations, fire hazards are ordinary combustible materials, flammable liquids like oil or gas, or electrical appliances and tools.

Class A: Ordinary combustible materials (paper, cloth, wood, soft furnishings and plastic)

Class B: Flammable liquids (paraffin, petrol and oil)

Class C: Flammable gases, e.g. propane, butane and methane

Class D: Flammable metals

Class F: Cooking oils & fats

Electrical fires:  fires involving a live electrical supply (electrical appliances, such as computers, printers or photocopiers)

Which Extinguisher to Use

Having the right type of Fire Extinguisher is critical to protecting lives and assets and will help you be prepared if a fire breaks out.

There are 5 main types of Fire Extinguishers and each one has a specific use depending on the type of fire.

  • Water Fire Extinguisher – used for flammable solids such as wood, paper, and textiles as the water has a cooling effect
  • Foam Fire Extinguisher – used for flammable liquids (petroleum products, paints, solvents and thinners), and liquefiable solids (such as wax, butter, tar, and car tyres although the water content in a foam extinguisher may cause these to split and powder may be more appropriate)
  • Dry Powder Fire Extinguisher – used on Classes A, B, and C, and electrical type fires where Class C is flammable gases (butane, propane, and acetylene for example), however, the gas should always be isolated first. Dry powder extinguishers work by smothering the fire
  • CO2 Fire Extinguishers – used for Class B flammable liquids and electrical fires. As an asphyxiant, CO2 suffocates the fire so extreme care should be taken if using in a confined space such as a cupboard – ensure the exit doorway is held open, empty the extinguisher into the cupboard space from the door, and shut the door
  • Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers – used for Class F fires; specifically, fires involving cooking oils and fats but, most can commonly also be used on Class A and B. Wet chemical extinguishers are commonly found in kitchens with deep fat fryers (commercial kitchens with fryers exceeding 0.4sqm will also require a fixed suppression system)

Some specialist Fire Extinguishers are available for common and specialist fires such as D type powders for flammable metals. These should only be used by trained personnel.

To determine which Fire Extinguishers you need, you must carry out a Fire Safety Risk Assessment.  Finding out what all your potential risks are will give you a starting point for a fire safety plan. The types and sizes of extinguishers will differ between business types.

Got a question about a Fire Risk Assessment? Need Fire Safety Compliance advice?  Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

STEP 1:
STEP 2:
You provide a suitable up to date drawing of your building in either:
  • Hard copy
  • PDF
  • Or preferably AutoCAD (dwg) format
Depending on the availability of installation records and the complexity of the building, we arrange a visit to identify the zone number associated with each Fire Alarm Manual Call Point and Fire Detector (for practicality this may involve two engineers).
STEP 3:
STEP 4:
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is created.
Fire Alarm Zone Chart is supplied in A4 or A3 glazed frame for installation adjacent to your Fire Alarm Panel.

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999.

False Fire Alarms remain a huge concern within the education sector- interrupting already carefully scheduled, planned and well-prepared lessons or even causing major disruption and distress to exams.  

Clearly, these false alarms cause significant inconvenience and disruption to students, staff, and visitors. They compromise everyone’s safety in the school and present a significant risk to the local community since the Fire Brigade will prioritise the school over other emergency callouts.

Solutions you should consider:

Anti-tamper products

The first and most straightforward way is to use anti-tamper products.

Fixfire® supplies a wide range of solutions designed to protect Fire Alarm Devices from inadvertent damage or deliberate misuse/vandalism.

Products include:

  • Local plastic cover flaps which attach directly to manual call points.
  • The stopper consists of a clear, tamperproof, tough polycarbonate cover, frame and spacer that retrofits over a break glass call point. When lifted to operate the break glass unit, its optional battery powered integral sounder emits a piercing 96dB (at 1m). Immediate attention is drawn to the area and a prankster will either run or be caught!
  • A range of steel web stoppers designed to protect fire detectors and warning devices. They are constructed from heavy-duty galvanised steel rod which is plastic-coated for durability and external use.
  • A range of polycarbonate enclosures are available for the protection of devices such as fire alarm control panels and associated control equipment. The enclosures combine tough rugged construction with stylish design and offer excellent protection with a key lock for authorised access.

We also provide anti-tamper devices for fire extinguishers and associated products.

KeyCall® Call Point

KeyCall® is a patented anti-ligature Fire Alarm and Access Control call point. It is designed to use the same key as the doors, providing simple operation for staff whilst eliminating nuisance activations by service-users.

KeyCall® has been developed by Fixfire® specifically for approved applications where standard versions would be vulnerable to abuse.

It is one of the best solutions for SEN schools and it is also compatible with a wide range of Conventional and Addressable Fire Alarm Systems.

Conduct Fire Safety Training

Most fire safety courses offer a mix of classroom-based learning and practical training experience, educating attendees on how to respond in the event of an emergency.

 In order to fulfil your obligations under current Fire Safety Law, it is essential that you have a documented regime of Fire Safety tests and checks and personnel who are suitably trained to respond correctly in the event of an emergency.

All Fire Safety Training is provided by experienced, time-served and qualified persons from a Fire Safety background.

Video surveillance

Even if the cameras don't identify the culprit, they can identify who was in the area at the time of the false alarm activation. Fixfire® specialises in integration and will bring together your Fire, Access and Security systems providing enhanced functionality.

Fixfire® provides leading-edge integration with ancillary systems and equipment. Our mission is to deliver reliable, well-engineered installations that provide you with peace of mind 24/7.

Place fire detectors in the correct locations

Smoke detectors that are placed too close to kitchens, cooking appliances, locker rooms or bathrooms will most likely be accidentally activated by the smoke or steam emitted by these sources. Detectors might need to be relocated.

Smoke detectors are more sensitive and are installed in any environment where smoke or steam would not normally be present. Heat detectors are installed in areas such as kitchens where smoke detectors would constantly false alarm during routine cooking. Multi-sensors combine smoke and heat in one detector and offer immunity to false alarms in certain applications.

Use the right detector

New detectors have improved technology and can measure a range of conditions to potentially be more effective at detecting a fire condition.

Flush Fire Detectors ensure protection is not compromised in any areas where conventional ‘un-pluggable’ detection could be subject to abuse. It is widely used in SEN Schools.

Maintain your Fire System

Make sure the alarm system is properly and regularly maintained.

Fixfire® is BAFE accredited for the Design, Installation, Maintenance and Servicing of Fire Alarm Systems.

All works are carried out by our employed, uniformed and trained Fire Alarm engineers.
Following each visit, a Certificate of Inspection is issued.

Got a question about False Fire Alarms? Need Fire Safety Compliance advice?  Get in touch today!

For over 45 years, Fixfire® has been providing quality products, systems and services for Life & Property Protection. Whatever your requirement, please call our Compliance Team for expert advice and a refreshingly different approach.

Freephone 08000 891999

Standard Fire Extinguishers
Standard Fire Extinguishers
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How do you choose the correct Fire Extinguisher for your premises?
Fire Extinguisher Chart - The Types of Fire Extinguishers and their uses
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