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Introduction to this document

Work equipment - safe system of work - fire extinguishers (safety procedure)

If used incorrectly fire extinguishers can cause injury and even death. Use our document to identify how and when to use them.

Safety equipment

Although this may sound strange, the Fire & Rescue Service is not keen on staff using extinguishers as it could put them at risk. The current thinking is that extinguishers ought to be used in limited circumstances only, e.g. on clothing which has caught alight, to aid escape in the event of fire, or where there are very early signs of fire which can be tackled safely by trained staff.

Clear guidance

As there may be circumstances in which you need to use extinguishers, we have produced a Work Equipment - Safe System of Work - Fire Extinguishers document to identify how to use them and manage the associated risks.

How it is set out?

You will find a space to include a photo of your extinguishers. Ideally, put all the different types you have together and take a picture. This will help your staff identify what they may have to use.

What to do?

In the “Key instructions” section of the document, we have included nine points. These confirm that staff are only to use an extinguisher as a last resort and that they should follow your emergency procedures.

The bullet points cover the different types of extinguisher and what they can be used for. The document also highlights that there are risks to be aware of, e.g. they can kick when the handle is squeezed.