Fire Extinguishers

Fire Extinguishers save lives and property!

Fire Extinguiser GroupThe Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 placed a great responsibility on the owners and operators of businesses and in particular requires the provision of adequate fire precautions. The first step in this process is the Risk Assessment and then thereafter the implementation of actions to protect the building and persons who work in or use the premises. The frontline defence against fire is the Fire Extinguisher.

It is a requirement of the law that Fire Extinguishers are serviced annually by a “Competent Person” according to the procedures laid out in BS 5306-3

Supply & Service

FSE can supply and maintain all of your Fire Extinguisher requirements to BS 5306-3 2017 at market leading rates and help you with the selection of the correct units for your premises. There is a wide range of  Fire Extinguishers available for all risks and with the ever changing facilities in modern businesses, choosing the correct extinguisher can be a real dilemma. As a local company we are just a call away.

So whether you need your extinguishers serviced or repaired, need new extinguishers for a new business, building or extension or guidance on the right type of extinguisher – we can help.

  •  Assessments & Installations

  •  Annual Servicing to BS 5306-3 2017

  •  Service Agreements

  •  Refilling & Recharge

  •  Help, Advice and Guidance

 Classes of Fire:
Class A – Fires involving organic matter such as paper, wood, plastics
Class B – Liquid fires or fires involving liquefiable solids such as waxes, fats or heavy greasees
Class C – Fires involving gasses
Class D – Metal fires. There are many flammable metals such as Lithium (as in batteries), Aluminium, Sodium, Potassium, Titanium, Magnesium
Class F – Fires involving Cooking Oils and Fats in fryers
Types of Fire Extinguishers
Water Fire Extinguishers are used for tackling fires involving burning paper, wood, plastics and soft furnishing (Class A fires), as the water soaks into the materials and cools them, while extinguishing the fire. This type of extinguisher does not contain harmful chemicals but has a low fire fighting rating. Due to this water fire extinguishers are usually large and heavy to overcome their lack in fire fighting power. It is also important to remember that water is an electrolyte and conducts electricity. Care must therefore be taken with regards to accidental use on exposed power cables. However, both the weight and the conductivity problems can be overcome by using water extinguishers with environmentally friendly additives. Water extinguishers with additives have a higher fire fighting rating which, therefore, allows the use of smaller and lighter extinguishers. This type of extinguisher does not conduct electricity. As they are mostly free of harmful substances, water fire extinguishers are especially suitable in households where children have access to the extinguishers and an accidental discharge is possible.
Foam Fire Extinguishers, also called AFFF FOAM (Aqueous Film Forming Foam) create a smothering film of foam over the fire, which starves the fire of oxygen. The foam also penetrates porous materials and cools the fire through evaporation of the water content in the foam. As the foam creates a foam carpet on burning liquids like petrol, foam extinguishers are also suitable for flammable liquids and areas where man-made fibres in soft furnishings and carpets might liquidise under the influence of heat. Foam extinguishers are safe for use with electrical equipment, although the electrical equipment will be seriously damaged by the liquid. It advisable to ensure that you select a foam extinguisher that has been conductivity tested.
CO2 (Carbon Dioxide) Fire Extinguishers contain only pressurised CO2 gas and therefore leave no residue. This type of extinguisher is suitable for use on fires involving burning liquids (Class B fires), but is also a good solution for quenching fires involving computer equipment and other electrical appliances, as it does not cause damage to the electrical items and does not cause the system to short circuit. It is important to remember that when using CO2 extinguishers there is a possibility that once the smothering CO2 gas has floated away the fire may re-ignite if the source of the fire is not removed (eg switching off the power supply) or if the materials are still very hot.
Powder Fire Extinguishers, such as ABC powder extinguishers or dry powder extinguishers, are suitable for fighting class A,B and C fires. ABC powder extinguishers have a very good fire fighting capacity, but the powder does not soak into materials and does not have a good cooling effect on the fire. This can result in the fire re-igniting, if it is not properly extinguished. Care must be taken when using powder extinguishers that you do not inhale the powder. Powder extinguishers should therefore not be used in small, confined spaces where there is a risk of inhaling the powder. In fact the British Standard does not allow powder extinguishers in offices and living accommodations any longer. The clean up after applying a powder extinguisher is also very difficult and the powder causes damage to soft furnishing, carpets and computer drives etc. So a careful balance has to be struck between the generally quite cheap but powerful powder extinguishers and the cleaner, but less powerful and sometimes more expensive foam/water (with additive) extinguishers.
Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers are especially designed for use on kitchen fires involving burning oil and deep fat fryers (Class F fires). These extinguishers come with a special, long application lance which allows you to safely lay a cooling layer of foam on top of the burning oil. They can also be used on Class A fires, although their fire fighting power for general risks is not very strong.
Specialist Dry Powder Extinguishers (for Class D /Metal Fires) Class D fires consist of combustible metals such as lithium, magnesium, potassium, titanium, and zirconium. The risk of this type of fire has increased dramatically in recent years due to the growing use of Lithium batteries in electrical equipment, toys and electric powered bicycles. With the exception of the metals that burn in contact with air or water (for example, sodium), masses of combustible metals do not represent unusual fire risks because they have the ability to conduct heat away from hot spots so efficiently that the heat of combustion cannot be maintained. Generally, metal fire risks exist when sawdust, machine shavings and other metal ‘fines’ are present. Generally, these fires can be ignited by the same types of ignition sources that would start other common fires. Water and other common firefighting materials can excite metal fires and make them worse. The general recommendation is that metal fires be fought with “dry powder” extinguishing agents. Dry powder agents work by smothering and heat absorption. The most common of these agents are sodium chloride granules and graphite powder. In recent years powdered copper has also come into use. Metal fires represent a unique hazard because people are often not aware of the characteristics of these fires and are not properly prepared to fight them. Therefore, even a small metal fire can spread and become a larger fire in the surrounding ordinary combustible materials. Only specialist Class D dry powder should ever be used to extinguish a metal fire.