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Installation of Fire Extinguishers

Please note that Installation and Commissioning should always be carried out by a fire extinguisher service engineers if the extinguishers are required for business use. This ensures that the extinguishers are installed in the correct location and are certified as a proof of correct installation and sufficient provision against the fire safety risks. The following notes are aimed at self-installers in a purely domestic setting.

It is important to check for electrical cables and pipe work using a suitable detector. When fitting appliances use appropriate wall fixings in conjunction with the manufacturer supplied wall bracket. Additional support may be needed when fitting heavier extinguishers to plasterboard walls. In locations as public halls a "safety bracket" may be beneficial.

Mounting Heights

The carrying handle of a portable fire extinguisher with a total gross mass of 4kg and above should be approximately 1 metre from the floor. The carrying handle of a portable fire extinguisher with a total gross mass of less than 4kg should be sited at 1.5 metres from the floor.

2 Extinguishers Mounted Side by Side

With one extinguisher total mass above 4kg and the 2nd extinguisher below 4kg, both extinguishers can be mounted on the wall at the heaviest extinguisher handle fixing height of 1 metre.

Fire Extinguisher Stands

Where fire extinguishers can not be wall mounted the use of fire extinguisher stands is recommended.

A Note of Warning on 'Pre-serviced' fire extinguishers

Occasionally, you may come across the practice of online fire extinguisher retailers offering pre-serviced fire extinguishers. What they offer is the inspection of the extinguisher in their warehouse and the addition of a maintenance label on the extinguisher. Sometimes they even claim that this service is in accordance to BS5306.

However, this practice is NOT in accordance to BS5306 for very good reasons. Damage to extinguishers like loss of pressure, loss of extinguishing medium, bent handles and hoses which make the extinguisher inoperable do not occur whilst the extinguisher is in the warehouse but all of these issues can occur in transit to the customer after the supplier has already declared the extinguisher 'fit for operation'. This puts lives at risk, especially if suppliers do not protect extinguishers adequately for shipment. BSI has therefore changed the standard BS5306 to require an ON SITE commissioning for all extinguishers installed under BS5306. This entails a full check of the extinguishers as they arrive on site and the correct weighing, preparation and certification of the extinguishers. Only then can you use the certification document as proof that you have taken your responsibility in accordance to your fire risk assessment seriously.

Pre-servicing or pre-labelling is therefore not permitted any longer. If you require your extinguishers to be installed in accordance to BS5306 you must have the extinguishers commissioned on site or alternatively you can have them installed and commissioned on site by a servicing company. BS5306 comformity is always required if you are a business or landlord or if you have to carry out a fire risk assessment.

 

Reviewed: 02/08/2017 (doc:25 V1.0). Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. Please note that we provide abridged, easy-to-understand guidance. To make detailed decisions about your fire safety provisions, you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

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