Can fire extinguishers be stored outside?

With the British winter and its variable weather conditions, it is important to make sure your fire safety equipment is protected from the elements. Fire extinguishers can be stored outside but only if they are well protected. British standards on fire safety state that fire extinguishers should be properly maintained and protected from vandalism, damage and weather conditions. A fire extinguisher is only useful if it is maintained and ready when a fire breaks out.

fire extinguisher cabinet outside
Steel fire extinguishers should be protected from adverse weather conditions when stored outside

Can fire extinguishers be stored outside?

Yes, fire extinguishers can be stored outside. However, it is important to protect your outdoor extinguishers so that they are always ready to be used in an emergency. Legislation states that all fire safety equipment that could be damaged by rain and frost should be suitably protected. 

Fire extinguishers should always be easily accessible. In many locations such as holiday parks, petrol stations, farms or depots it is therefore necessary to store extinguishers outside. Fire points should be set up in an accessible location and should be clearly marked with fire safety signage.


What is the best outdoor fire extinguisher storage solution?

To find the best outdoor storage solution to protect your fire extinguishers you will need to look at the location for the extinguishers and also the level of protection required against:

  • Weather
  • Theft, misuse or vandalism
  • Accidental damage

Protection against the weather: Weatherproof extinguisher cabinets and boxes feature waterproof seals, making them completely water tight. UV resistant cabinets remain strong and durable when exposed to sunlight for long periods, maintaining optimum protection for the extinguishers stored inside.

Protection against theft, misuse or vandalism: Fire extinguisher theft deterrents include alarms that sound when the fire extinguisher pin is pulled and alarmed wall brackets that sound when the extinguisher is removed. Extinguisher cabinets or boxes with built-in alarms are also available. The alarm sounds when the cabinet is opened. Some of these devices, such as the Wireless Fire Extinguisher Theft Stopper, can be monitored remotely so that an alert is received when the alarm is activated.

Lockable outdoor storage cabinets provide added protection. The key is stored on the front of the cabinet and can only be accessed by breaking the glass.

Protection against accidental damage: Many fire extinguisher cabinets, like the UltraFire Double Extinguisher Cabinet are made from impact resistant polypropylene. This makes them highly durable. This type of shatter-proof cabinet is ideal for environments like construction sites or an HGV exterior where accidental damage is more likely.


Extinguisher Cabinet on HGV
The shatter-proof UltraFire Single Extinguisher Cabinet is ideal for HGVs

What is the best outdoor fire extinguisher?

Weatherproof extinguishers

The best type of fire extinguishers for your site will be determined by your fire risk assessment and will depend upon the type of activities and fire risks found on or near your site. Here are some options that are suitable for outside locations:

If you are looking for an extinguisher that can withstand harsh weather conditions the P50 Service-free Extinguishers are a great option. They are highly durable and completely weatherproof with a UV resistant outer shell and corrosion free construction. These extinguishers can be stored in the harshest outside environment without additional protection from the elements. Foam P50s can be purchased with added anti-freeze for extra protection down to -5⁰. Always check the lowest operating temperature of your fire extinguisher to ensure that your extinguisher will be at the ready even when temperatures go below 0⁰ degrees.


P50 foam extinguisher in the sun
The P50 Foam Extinguisher is UV protected and weatherproof, ideal for outdoor use

Traditional steel extinguishers

Traditional steel fire extinguishers need to be protected from the weather otherwise they will be at risk of corrosion. A weatherproof fire extinguisher cabinet is ideal for this purpose. Tested to IP59K, the outdoor extinguisher cabinets from UltraFire will protect fire extinguishers from dust, UV rays and rain. They even protect extinguishers from high-pressure water jets. This makes these cabinets ideal for fixing to the outside of vehicles.

When protected from the risk of corrosion, ABC powder extinguishers can be used in temperatures down to -20⁰C. Powder extinguishers are also best suited to outdoor use and are versatile in tackling a variety of fire risks. Water extinguishers are at risk of freezing in really harsh conditions. It is recommended that anti-freeze is added to water extinguishers that are stored outside without insulation. If this is something that you require, please speak to our servicing team on 0800 612 4827 or email servicing@safelincs.co.uk.

Frequently Asked Questions

What temperature should fire extinguishers be stored at?

Foam and Water extinguishers are at risk of freezing or spoiling if the temperature drops below 0⁰C. For safe outdoor storage, these extinguishers should have anti-freeze added to ensure that they are ready for action in an emergency. ABC Powder extinguishers can operate normally to a temperature of -20⁰C.

Can you leave a fire extinguisher outside?

Traditional steel fire extinguishers can be left outside if they are in a weatherproof cabinet or box. P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguishers can be left outside without extra protection from the weather. This is because they are completely weatherproof and do not corrode. In addition, vandalism and theft should also be taken into consideration. A fire equipment storage box or cabinet with an alarm can protect extinguishers from misuse or damage.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Fire safety tips for student accommodation

Off to university and renting student halls or a shared home? Did you know that someone living in rented or shared accommodation is 7 times more likely to have a fire? If this is your first time living in rented accommodation, read our top 5 fire safety tips for students to keep yourself and your housemates safe.

student fire safety in the kitchen
Over half of all accidental house fires happen in the kitchen

Our Top 5 Fire Safety Tips for Students

  1. Read our guide on what to look out for when renting a home so you can be sure that your landlord or housing provider is doing their bit to protect you in the event of a fire.
  2. Test your smoke alarms regularly and replace the batteries straight away if there is a low battery warning. If your smoke alarm is beeping and you can’t solve the problem, notify your landlord.
  3. Take care when cooking! Over half of all accidental fires at home happen in the kitchen. Keep loose clothing, tea towels and cloths away from the cooker and hob. Make sure your oven and hob are cleaned regularly to avoid grease and oil building up and always check you have turned off appliances after using them. If you are frying food, take care not to let oil get too hot – if the oil starts to smoke, turn the heat down as it could burst into flames. Always keep an eye on your cooking – don’t be distracted by devices or by others. Set a timer so that you don’t forget to check the food regularly. It’s best to avoid cooking if you have been drinking alcohol as it is more likely that you will have an accident.
  4. Avoid burning candles or incense inside the house as they are at risk of starting a fire if knocked over or could set fire to a curtain or other fabric nearby. To make your new room cosy use battery operated candles and reed defuses as a safer alternative. Smoking inside the house could also start a fire accidentally.
  5. Electrical devices, cables and plug sockets can cause a fire! If your charging cable is cracked, severely twisted or has exposed wires, don’t use it, it could cause a fire. Buy a replacement from a well-known manufacturer. Don’t charge your phone or laptop on your bed or any other surface that could catch fire, instead opt for a work surface or table. Turn off electrical chargers, devices or appliances before bed or when leaving the house. Mobile phones that are charged on beds and under pillows get easily overheated and can start a fire.

    Did you know, sockets and plug boards have a limit on how many items can be plugged into them? Plugging too many plugs into a socket or extension cable could overload it and cause a fire. You can use this socket calculator to check whether your extension leads and adaptors are overloaded.

If you are worried about fire safety in your home, why not take our online home fire safety check? Answer questions about your student accommodation and you’ll be provided with advice about the best way to prevent a fire.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

New regulations announced for smoke and CO alarms in social housing

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities published a press release on 23rd November 2021 detailing changes to the Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm (England) Regulations 2015. These new regulations for smoke and CO alarms will improve safety standards in social housing for many people in England. This will bring them more in line with what is expected from private landlords.

What are the new regulations for smoke and CO alarms in social housing?

Smoke alarms have been mandatory in private rented accommodation since 2015, but rules for social housing have remained less clear. Now, under new regulations announced this week, social housing providers will have to adhere to the following rules:

  • All social housing must have a smoke alarm fitted
  • Any rented home including social housing must have a carbon monoxide detector fitted if the property has a fixed appliance like a gas boiler or gas fire
  • If a smoke or carbon monoxide alarm is reported as faulty, landlords or housing providers must fix or replace it as soon as possible

Further details will follow on where the alarms should be fitted and any relevant alarm standards that must be adhered to.

new regulations for co alarm and gas boilers
Any rented home with a gas boiler will have to have a carbon monoxide alarm installed

Greater consistency for safety in the rental sector

Around 60 people die each year from carbon monoxide poisoning in England and Wales and many more from house fires. It is hoped these regulations will help to drive-up standards in social housing. Eddie Hughes, MP for Rough Sleeping and Housing said ‘I’m proud that the new rules being proposed will ensure even more homes are fitted with life-saving alarms. Whether you own your home, are privately renting or in social housing – everyone deserves to feel safe and this is an incredibly important step in protecting those at risk.’

Carbon Monoxide Alarm
Carbon monoxide alarms will be mandatory in social housing with a fixed appliance

The National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) welcomes these changes and believes many people will be safer in their homes as a result. Jim Bywater, NFCC said ‘The new regulations will contribute to reducing fire and carbon monoxide casualties and fatalities and bring consistency and greater protection to those living in both private and social rented homes.’

The news comes during Carbon Monoxide Awareness Week and has been celebrated by the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide Group (APPCOG). After conducting research studies into CO poisoning and poverty in the UK, they have been campaigning for change for a number of years. Safelincs attended the launch event for the APPCOG CO Awareness Week and are proud to support this event each year. Safelincs have also been working with the NFCC to create a free assessment tool to improve fire safety in homes across the UK.

Are you concerned about fire safety at home?

If you are worried about fire safety in your home or someone else’s home, why not complete our Online Home Fire Safety Check? Get tips and advice on how to reduce fire risks.

online home fire safety check screen
Online Home Fire Safety Check

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Tips to prevent the spread of germs in the workplace this winter

With winter approaching, the prevalence of viruses such as common colds, flu and coronavirus will increase. Poorly ventilated workplaces can be a hotspot for the spread of germs, leading to staff illness and sickness absence. In 2020 according to the Office of National Statistics Sickness Absence Report, 118.6 million working days were lost in the UK due to sickness or injury. With many of us returning to work this year, the spread of germs in the workplace could cause a headache for many employers and employees.

How do germs spread?

What can be done to prevent and control infection in the workplace?

germs on door handles
Germs can spread on common touchpoints like door handles

How do germs spread?

In order for germs to spread, there needs to be three factors:

  1. A source of infection
  2. A susceptible person to be infected
  3. Transmission from the source to the susceptible person

By removing just one of these factors, germs will be prevented from spreading and infection can be kept under control.

What conditions encourage the spread of germs?

Transmission of germs depends on the type of virus. Here, we will concentrate on airborne diseases that are most commonly transmitted from one person to another via small droplets. These infected droplets are expelled when someone who is infected coughs, sneezes, talks or laughs. The infectious droplets can travel through the air and can attach themselves to surfaces.

Stale air that is not well ventilated can encourage diseases to spread. By opening a door or window, fresh air can replace stale air that contains the virus droplets.

What are the common sources of infection?

Common sources of infection in the workplace include surfaces that are regularly touched by anyone using your building. For example, door handles, push plates and light switches are common areas for transmission.

What infection control measures can I introduce to improve ventilation and prevent the spread of germs?

There are a number of easy infection control solutions that can be implemented to reduce the risk of germs spreading. Some of the best tips to incorporate into your germ control procedures are:

  • Encourage everyone to wash their hands regularly. Install ‘wash your hands’ signs to help remind employees and members of the public to maintain good hand hygiene.
  • Encourage everyone to cough or sneeze into a handkerchief or into their elbow.
  • Regularly clean contact surfaces within the workplace.
  • Minimise the number of contact surfaces in the workplace.
  • Open windows and doors where possible to improve ventilation.
Hold open fire doors
Dorgard holds open door to stop germs spreading

How can I improve ventilation in a building with fire doors?

Fire doors, whilst a necessary part of the fire safety infrastructure in most workplaces, can be problematic when it comes to infection control. The UK Government guidance on ventilation outlines that ‘Any actions to improve ventilation should not compromise other aspects of safety and security (for example, avoid propping open fire doors)’. Using a fire door retainer such as Dorgard allows fire doors to be held open safely, improving ventilation without compromising fire safety. When the fire alarms sounds, a Dorgard Fire Door Retainer will release the fire door so that it closes, preventing the spread of fire.

What can I do to reduce the number of contact surfaces?

Door handles and door push plates are likely to be common sources of infection in most workplaces. Keeping doors open means that nobody needs to touch the push plate or door handle to gain access. This eliminates the contact surface and therefore the source of infection. Always ensure that fire doors are held open legally and safely using a fire door retainer such as Dorgard.

reduce the spread of germs
Holding fire doors open safely can reduce the spread of germs

Foot operated door openers can also be a useful way of minimising contact surfaces. These are particularly useful for toilet doors that usually need to remain shut. Foot door openers are cheap and easy to install and allow staff to open the door using their foot rather than touching a handle or push plate.

open door with foot
Foot operated door openers can reduce touch points in buildings

Act now to protect your workforce this winter

Limiting the spread of germs in the workplace throughout the winter is more important than ever following the return to work for many employees in 2021. Making these small changes in your workplace as part of your infection control policy could go a long way to reducing sickness amongst the workforce. Contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or email support@safelincs.co.uk for further help and advice on controlling infection in the workplace.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

P50: The Eco-friendly Fire Extinguisher

Not only will the P50 Service-Free Fire Extinguisher save you money, it is also an eco-friendly choice. With a low-carbon manufacturing process, long-lasting design and fully recyclable construction, P50 Fire Extinguishers are a great option if you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint. Carbon emissions are reduced even further as there are no engineer visits required to your site.

Eco-friendly manufacturing

P50 Fire Extinguishers are energy efficient to manufacture. Unlike traditional fire extinguishers that are made of steel, P50s are made from granules of plastic. These are formed into a cylinder shape using blow moulding. This is a low-energy, clean and eco-friendly manufacturing process. It produces zero wastage as any off-cuts of plastic are turned back into granules and re-used.

P50 eco-friendly extinguishers are made in the UK at Britannia Fire’s factory in Norfolk. By buying a fire extinguisher that is manufactured in the UK, you are reducing the number of miles the product has travelled to reach your premises. This in turn, reduces your carbon footprint and contributes to lowering your environmental impact.

eco fire extinguishers
P50 Extinguishers can contribute to your green initiatives

Long-lasting design vs traditional steel extinguishers

The construction of P50 Fire Extinguishers is unlike anything else on the market. Because of the materials used and the quality of assembly, the chemicals in P50 extinguishers last 10 years without requiring a refill. This compares favourably to the usual 5 years for a traditional steel extinguisher. Not only do they last twice as long, P50 extinguishers can also be refilled by the manufacturer after 10 years for an extra 10 years of service. Meaning that one unit can last for 20 years! The unit is then recyclable at the end of its useable life.

P50 extinguishers do not suffer corrosion like many traditional extinguishers and are UV treated to withstand the long-term effects of exposure to sunlight. This makes them completely weather resistant and durable, allowing them to be used for a longer period and in harsh conditions. The P50 Extinguishers are also made with marine-grade components. They have extinguishing ingredients that are kinder to watercourses and marine wildlife.

No annual servicing miles by an external contractor

The use of P50 extinguishers further reduces carbon emissions as there is no need for a servicing contractor to travel to you site each year to service the P50s. Each unit simply requires a quick visual check by a member of staff annually. This is fully compliant with fire safety legislation in the UK and is due to the unique construction of the units.

Reduce the number of fire extinguishers

P50 Foam Fire Extinguishers give better coverage than many other foam extinguishers. They are dielectrically tested, meaning that they can be used on live electrical equipment up to 1kV from a 1m distance. It is usual to find a combination of CO2 and water or CO2 and foam extinguishers in many settings. Traditionally, CO2 extinguishers have been used to tackle electrical fires. Foam or water are used for class A (Solid combustibles like wood and paper) or class B (flammable liquids). The P50 Foam Extinguisher can be used to tackle all of these types of fire, making it an ideal substitute for the CO2 and water/foam combination.

Replace CO2 and water extinguishers with one P50 Foam Extinguisher
One P50 Foam Extinguisher can replace a water and CO2 extinguisher combination

Reducing the number of extinguishers at your premises not only reduces cost. It is also a more environmentally friendly way of operating. The environmental benefits of the P50 extinguishers are industry-leading. They can contribute towards wider business goals such as carbon footprint reduction and environmental policy. Coupled with the huge cost saving benefits, businesses and organisations do not have to choose between eco-friendly vs cost. In the case of the P50, you can have the best of both worlds.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Bonfire Night: Top Safety Tips

Bonfire night can be a time for family and friends to gather and enjoy autumnal nights outside. Whatever you’re planning for 5th November this year, read our top bonfire and firework safety tips for Guy Fawkes Night.

How do you keep safe on bonfire night?

Rather than run the risk of lighting a fire or fireworks at home, attend an organized event if you can.

Wear gloves when holding sparklers
Hold sparklers away from your body and wear gloves

If you do plan to celebrate bonfire night at home, follow these top tips to stay safe

  1. Always follow the fireworks code
  2. Keep pets and young children away from bonfires and fireworks
  3. Store fireworks securely in a metal box away from anything that could ignite or cause a spark
  4. If you are using sparklers, always wear gloves, hold them at arm’s length away from others and place them in a bucket of cold water when they are finished
  5. Have a Watermist Fire Extinguisher to hand. They are non-toxic, leave no residue to clean up and can be used on wood, paper, clothing and electrical items
  6. Build bonfires away from garden sheds, fences and hedges
  7. Never use flammable liquids such as lighter fluid or petrol to start a bonfire and never light the fire in high winds
  8. Always supervise your bonfire and extinguish it using a bucket of water if it is still burning when your celebrations have finished
  9. Keep a bucket of water or hosepipe nearby
  10. Keep a burns kit or first aid kit at home in case of minor burns or injuries

What do I need for bonfire night?

We recommend the following additional safety items for bonfire night:

St John Ambulance Burn Kit
Have a St John Ambulance Burn Kit to hand on bonfire night

Can I store fireworks that I don’t use?

It is not advisable to store fireworks for any length of time at home as they are explosives and could be very dangerous. If you are intending to store fireworks, ensure they are kept dry in a metal container. Store them in a place where the temperature does not change significantly (for example not on a window sill) and away from anything that could ignite or cause sparks such as electrical items, heaters, matches or lighters. Make sure they are not stored near other combustible materials like card or wood and place them out of reach of children and pets. Always follow manufacturer guidelines for storage periods.

Safelincs and NFCC launch free Online Home Fire Safety Check resource

Safelincs are working in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council to launch a new Online Home Fire Safety Check (OHFSC) tool, available free of charge to all Fire Rescue Services in England.

Safelincs is pleased to announce the launch of a joint venture working in partnership with the National Fire Chiefs Council (NFCC) and the Home Office’s Fire Kills campaign, the Online Home Fire Safety Check Tool. This innovative online assessment tool will be made available to all households across England and will enable them to complete a home assessment to help identify fire hazards in their home. The tool will also suggest changes that can be easily made to reduce the risk of a fire.

National Fire Chiefs Council and Safelincs
Representatives from National Fire Chiefs Council and Safelincs at the South West Regional Workshop, Taunton, Somerset

Safelincs donated their time and expertise to build the system and will support and provide the system free of charge to all fire and rescue services across England. This tool will complement the NFCC Person-Centred Framework.  Neil Odin, Chair of NFCC’s Prevention Committee and NFCC’s Prevention Programme Executive, said, “We have been overwhelmed by the positive feedback from FRSs who attended the conference, with many having already signed up to the on-boarding process.” He went on to say “In the long-term NFCC would like to see all FRSs adopt the new Online Home Fire Safety Check and use as an integral part of their prevention activities. This, we hope, will provide a consistent approach to identifying and logging issues related to home safety prevention activities, and assist with centrally capturing valuable data which will be made available for all FRSs to use and plan future prevention strategies.”

Online Home Fire Safety Check
The Online Home Fire Safety Check Tool is available to all households in England

Safelincs have a passion for sharing free fire safety information with the public and working collaboratively with Fire Kills and NFCC to develop this online tool gives us great satisfaction. Harry Dewick-Eisele, MD Safelincs said ‘This co-operation has created a fire safety tool that makes a huge difference to people. It is easy to use and delivers well-tailored advice’

Complete the online home fire safety check for your home to see if you could improve your fire safety.

Angie Dewick-Eisele

HR & Marketing Manager

Angie has been our marketing manager since joining in 2002. She also has a keen interest in H&S issues.

New Free Fire Extinguisher Guide!

Our new free fire extinguisher guide is a useful resource for anyone involved in purchasing fire safety equipment. Providing a complete overview to different types of fire extinguisher, this complete fire extinguisher guide answers our most frequently asked questions.

Ideal for fire wardens and anyone involved in purchasing fire safety equipment for businesses or organisations, it offers a complete introduction to fire extinguishers. It is also a useful reference tool for anyone starting out in the fire safety industry, such as fire extinguisher technicians.

Fire Extinguisher guide
New Guide to Fire Extinguishers

An introduction to fire extinguisher types

Download this printable resource for a complete overview on fire extinguisher types and uses, including:

  • Fire extinguisher classes
  • Which fire extinguisher to use on which fire
  • Fire extinguishers for electrical fires
  • How does a fire extinguisher work?
  • Where should a fire extinguisher be located?
  • How many extinguishers are needed
  • Fire extinguisher ratings

Up to date advice on dealing with lithium-ion battery fires plus innovative new technologies like P50 Service-free Fire Extinguishers make this comprehensive guide a great new tool for businesses and organisations.

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

According to the Equality Act 2010, schools and educational premises have a duty to make reasonable adjustments where necessary for anyone with a disability. So, what is a reasonable adjustment? And, what can schools and universities do to improve access for all and meet fire safety requirements in education?

What is a reasonable adjustment?

The Equality Act 2010 tackles disability discrimination in schools and other organisations or businesses across society. It sets out a responsibility to remove barriers experienced by someone who has a disability. Anyone who has a disability should be able to receive the same service as far as possible as someone who is not disabled. What is considered a ‘reasonable’ adjustment will depend on things like the size of the organisation, and the money and resources available. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend the setting.

Reasonable adjustments and fire safety in education

According to current fire safety regulations, it is the duty of the Responsible Person for the building to provide a fire safety risk assessment that considers the needs of all of its users. It should contain an emergency evacuation plan for all people likely to be on the educational premises. This includes anyone who is disabled or has additional needs. The Disability Discrimination Act 1995 (DDA) also supports these regulations.

Evacuation chairs are a reasonable adjustment
An EVAC+CHAIR can be used to safely evacuate anyone with a permanent or temporary mobility impairment in an emergency

The adjustments you need to make to meet legal requirements for disability and fire safety will depend on what is set out in your fire risk assessment. It will also depend on the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university.

What examples are there of reasonable adjustments in schools or higher education establishments for fire safety?

A reasonable adjustment can be:

  • A change to the way things are done such as a change to a rule or policy. For example, this might involve a change to an escape route.
  • A change to a physical or architectural feature in a building or outside areas. This could include using a fire door retainer on internal fire doors to allow easier access for all or installing visual fire alarm beacons with louder audible sirens for anyone who has a hearing impairment.
  • Provision of extra services or aids. This could include providing an evacuation aid such as an evacuation chair.

The type of changes and extra aids or services will depend entirely on your circumstances and the needs of the individuals who attend your school or university. Fire safety requirements will be set out in detail in your fire risk assessment and should be implemented.

Fire door retainers and the Equality Act 2010

Fire door retainers such as Dorgard are a cost-effective and easy to install solution for improving access for all in schools and universities. Fire doors are a necessity in many buildings but can be a barrier to anyone with a mobility impairment as they are heavy to operate and difficult to manoeuvre in a wheelchair.

fire doors in education
Fire door retainers can improve access for anyone with a mobility impairment

Dorgard is certified and tested to British Standards EN1155:1997 and EN 1634. It is a legal solution for holding open fire doors. This allows easier access for everyone including any disabled users with a mobility impairment. When the fire alarm sounds in your building, Dorgard will release the fire door so that it closes and provides the usual protection. You should never wedge or prop open fire doors using an uncertified device or object. The fire doors will be unable to provide any protection if they are open when a fire starts.

Fire door retainers can be a reasonable adjustment
Dorgard Fire Door Retainers are widely used in education

The University of London’s College Hall has found Dorgard to be an effective solution to accessibility in their building.

“The Dorgard offers a low energy automatic door solution that proved to be the most cost-effective way of improving access and independence for wheelchair users.”

University of London’s College Hall

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.

The Importance of Defibrillators at Sports Clubs, Facilities and Gyms

With only a small percentage of sports clubs and gyms having a defibrillator on site, is it an important addition to your sports facility’s first aid provision? We look at the risk posed by cardiac arrest and the life saving potential of defibrillators at sports clubs, gyms or sports centres.

Cardiac arrest at the gym
Having a defibrillator at your local gym could save a life

Why are defibrillators important for sporting clubs or gyms?

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Research shows that over 90% of sudden cardiac arrests in young athletes happen either during or immediately after exercise.
  • The average age of people suffering from a cardiac arrest is between 35 and 44. But, some younger sportspeople may have an undiagnosed heart condition.
  • Apart from injuries that are directly related to the sport being played, cardiac arrest is the most common cause of death in young sports people.

Having an AED close at hand can make all the difference. Research shows that using an AED within 3 to 5 minutes of a cardiac arrest can mean survival rates are as high as 50-70%. Many lives have been saved during sporting activities by having an AED present at the time of cardiac arrest. Parkrun’s collection of stories from cardiac arrest victims highlights the importance of having an AED close by.

Young athlete cardiac arrest
Undiagnosed heart conditions can lead to cardiac arrest in young athletes

Is it a legal requirement for sports clubs or sports centres to have a defibrillator?

Whilst it is not currently a legal requirement in the UK for sports facilities to provide an AED, it is a valuable addition to the wellbeing and protection of sports players, club members and the local community.

Choosing a defibrillator for sports clubs and gyms

Anyone can use an automatic defibrillator – no training is required. They automatically deliver the shock to the heart. It is not possible to make matters worse if they are not used correctly.

Some defibrillators like the Heartsine 360P give better protection from water which may be a consideration if they are likely to be used outside. Look out for the AEDs IP rating which shows the level of protection from dust and water.

Heartsine 360P defibrillator for sports clubs and events
Heatsine 360P Fully Automatic Defibrillator with protective carry case

Consider the location for your AED. It should be easy to find in an emergency so it can be accessed as quickly as possible. The location will also determine whether you need to purchase an external defibrillator cabinet or an internal defibrillator cabinet. If you are locating the AED outside or somewhere like a football clubhouse where the temperature may drop below 8⁰C, then an external storage cabinet is required. These cabinets have integral heating to ensure the defibrillator stays at the optimum temperature.  Because of the heating element, outdoor cabinets need to be installed by an electrician. Internal cabinets are simpler to install, just requiring screwing or bolting into the wall.

For events like Parkrun, marathons or large tournaments, an AED with a portable protective carry case is likely to be a good option. Many defibrillators come with carry cases, but they can also be purchased separately.

Maintaining your defibrillator

Community clubs, sports centres and gyms may be concerned about providing a defibrillator because of the maintenance requirements. Defibrillators self-test on a regular basis. They will flag up any issues, so maintenance of a defibrillator is not as daunting as it may first appear. One of the main things to look out for is expiry dates for pads and batteries.

Set up a regular visual inspection procedure and designate member(s) to carry it out. Use our free defibrillator maintenance checklist to monitor and record inspections.

Any AED will require replacement pads and batteries as these have an expiry date which varies depending on the manufacturer. Some AEDS such as Zoll AED 3 have a 5 year pad and battery life plus if you purchase a defibrillator from Safelincs, you can receive free replacement pads

For complete peace of mind or if there is no one to carry out a visual inspection at your sports facility, we can organise a defibrillator inspection from one of our trained engineers as often as you like.

Defibrillator cost vs benefit

Although the initial outlay for a defibrillator can seem like a lot for a community organisation or sports facility, the potential for being able to offer life-saving treatment makes it a worthy investment. Defibrillators have relatively low maintenance costs and no requirement for training (for a fully automatic defibrillator). So, after the initial installation, AEDs can provide a service to the members and community without having high-cost implications. An important and worthwhile investment!

Mel Saunders

Marketing Designer

Mel joined our team at the start of 2020. She creates our marketing materials and manages our social media accounts.