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Fire extinguisher servce

Guest Mike

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Guest Mike

Hello and thank you to who ever responds.

I have had my fire extinguishers serviced today.

I own a hairdressing salon of approx 300-400 feet square area.

I have presently 2 extinguishers, 1 co2 and 1 h2o.

The service engineer has carried out his inspection and replaced the relevant parts on the co2 bottle.

How ever he has told me that the h2o bottle requires completely replacing due to the fact that the top handle is plastic and uv damaged? I would argue that it is merely dusty but for argument sake I accepted his expertise. He also said that due to new regulations and the floor space I require 2 h2o bottles to go with the co2? Am I getting correct advice or just sales patter as that's Its left me feeling?

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The British Standards do require replacement of extinguishers (or at the least the head units of them if this is possible) with plastic handles that show any signs of UV damage as this can weaken them and they could potentially break when used.

As to the requirement of 2 water units, you are not being misled. The British Standard for the provision of extinguishers BS 5306 part 8 was updated in 2012 and now requires a minimum of 2 x A rated fire extinguishers with a minimum combined A rating of 26A per floor of a premises. The CO2 extinguisher only carries a B rating so the engineer is correct, you require a 2nd A rated extinguisher (this could be either water, foam or dry water mist but must add to the existing extinguishers A rating to be at least 26A in total).

In the past an ABC powder extinguisher could have been employed to cover the B rating of the CO2 as well as the secondary A rating but in the same update to the British Standard it has been recommended that powder should not be used indoors unless there is a health and safety reason why nothing else is suitable.

I hope this clears up your concerns.



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Mike what Shawn says is a 100% correct but you also you need to consider is the fire risk assessment that is required by the fire safety order. The FRA is what decides how many extinguishers is required and the British Standard is only a recommendation.

In your case the relevant guide is Offices and shops and if you check Section 3 Further guidance on firefighting equipment and facilities it says under 3.1 Portable firefighting equipment "Where there are self-contained small premises, multi-purpose extinguishers which can cover a range of risks may be appropriate. Depending on the outcome of your fire risk assessment, it may be possible to reduce this to one extinguisher in very small premises with a floor space of less than 90m2". My interpretation would be you could you could go down to one water and a CO2 if the fire risk warrants it, the need for a CO2 would depend on why it has been recommended?

Check out http://www.firesafe.org.uk

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