The Important Role of Fire Extinguishers In Your Office
Fire Extinguishers may often go unnoticed, blending into the background in the workplace as we go about our busy working day. But we should never underestimate the importance of having them available in the office when needed.
The ability to quickly extinguish a fire in the office can, not only help prevent significant damage to equipment and premises, but more importantly prevent injury or death. The risk of damage or injury is significantly reduced when the correct extinguishers are available, and their presence helps provide peace of mind.
However, it is not enough to have a few fire extinguishers dotted about the place. It is important to understand the appropriate extinguisher for different types of fire and ensure that you have the right extinguisher in the right location.
Extinguishers must be always accessible, clearly visible and labelled to show which type of fire they can be used to tackle. The number of extinguishers required will be influenced by a range of factors, these include the office layout and size and the potential risks that are present such as electrical equipment and sources of fuel.
When considering where to buy your extinguishers we would recommend dealing with an accredited specialist. This will ensure that you are supplied with a quality product manufactured to the appropriate standards. A specialist will also be able to advise on the correct number and type of extinguishers for your individual office setting.
Once your extinguishers are in place they should not be forgotten. Routine inspection and maintenance are required to make sure that they are in good working order when they are required, this will also prolong their effectiveness. Any signs of wear and tear should be addressed quickly, and it is also important to remember that all fire extinguishers will have an expiry date. A monthly visual check can be carried out by a designated member of staff.
Of course, your fire extinguishers will only be effective if they can be used correctly when needed. Ideally, nominated individuals would be trained as fire wardens, but it is certainly worth making all staff aware of the basic principles of how to use them:
The PASS method is a straightforward principle to remember and covers:
Pull – the pin at the top
Aim – the nozzle at the base of the fire
Squeeze – the handles to discharge
Sweep – from side to side
Labelling is extremely important to make sure that anyone attempting to tackle a fire can choose the appropriate extinguisher. The wrong extinguisher will be at the very least less effective and at worse could actually be dangerous, particularly when it comes to electrical fires. Your fire extinguishers should also be stored appropriately, this means a dry, cool location well away from any heat sources.
If you would like a trusted partner to take the worry out of the fire extinguishers in your office, please get in touch. We offer a comprehensive service covering advice supply, maintenance in addition to fire warden training.