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Introduction to this document

Fire extinguisher selection guide

How many extinguishers do you require? Our guide will help you ascertain the correct figure.

Why use it?

Although you can ask the advice of a fire extinguisher supplier they aren’t exactly unbiased and you may find that you’ve been sold more extinguishers than you really need.

Our guide is based on BS5306-8 “Selection and positioning of portable fire extinguishers. Code of practice”. By using our document you can take back control by reviewing your provisions for yourself.

Location, location, location

It’s first necessary to understand the different fire types. Our sheet therefore starts with a run-down of the different classes (based on fuel sources). It also explains that each one has a rating which relates to the amount of extinguishing power in the extinguisher. So, for example, as our guide explains, “a standard 9 litre water extinguisher has a 13A rating”.

There are a number of factors which should be taken into account in determining which extinguishers you install and where. These include: the minimum recommended provision per storey; floor area; the location of fire hazards; travel distance; proximity to alarm call points; freedom to escape; and accessibility. Each factor is explained with examples given of usual extinguisher provision.