Is a Fire Extinguisher Cabinet or Cover Required?
27th Jun 2022
Fire extinguishers are fundamental to fire safety but can be easily damaged or mistakenly discharged. It’s important to make sure your fire fighting equipment is protected but it’s unclear whether protection from fire extinguisher cabinets or covers is a legal requirement.
What Does the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 Say?
Within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 it’s mentioned that the Responsible Person, the person who owns or controls the business or premises, is responsible for eliminating and reducing fire risks and managing fire extinguishers on the premises.
There is no guidance within the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 regarding the protection of fire extinguishers and fire extinguisher cabinets and covers aren’t mentioned explicitly.
What Does the British Standard BS5306 8:2012 Say?
While the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 doesn’t contain any specific guidance regarding protective measures for fire extinguishers, the British Standard BS5306 8:2012 has a section regarding ‘Protection against corrosion and vandalism’ which states,
“Extinguishers stored outdoors or in potentially corrosive atmospheres can become unsafe for use or inoperable in a relatively short period. If extinguishers are sited in such locations, then either measures should be taken to protect the extinguisher, or alternative extinguisher types should be specified that are specifically designed to withstand the environment in that location.
Extinguishers located in any public access environment, e.g. schools, colleges, public houses, hotels and retail outlets, are susceptible to vandalism or being stolen. Even minor tampering could result in the extinguisher not operating when called on to do so in a fire situation. Measures should be taken to reduce the possibility of extinguishers being vandalized or stolen if relocation of the extinguisher to a more secure location is neither desirable nor practical. Such measures could include, but are not limited to, protection covers, boxes and audible alarms.”
Should I Use Fire Extinguisher Cabinets or Covers in My Workplace?
The guidance laid out in the British Standard BS5306 8:2012 makes it clear that there are many situations where fire extinguishers will need to be given additional protection. While fire extinguisher cabinets and covers aren’t a legal requirement they should be strongly considered.
Fire extinguisher cabinets are suitable for storing and protecting fire extinguishers that are in busy locations or that may be open to the elements outdoors. They can ensure your fire extinguishers don’t get accidentally discharged or damaged.
Fire extinguisher covers provide some protection to fire extinguishers and are also useful for giving them extra visibility.
If you are unsure what protection is most suitable for your fire extinguishers, you should arrange a fire risk assessment for your workplace to identify any hazards that could affect them.
Fire extinguishers are crucial for ensuring safety within the workplace and fitting yours with a cover or cabinet can protect them for several years. View the range of fire accessories on our website or contact us for more information.