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Fire extinguisher recommendations for short lets

Guest Elisei

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We are renting our house out on short lets (all electric) and I would like to discuss what fire extinguisher to have type & size and where to locate them and the maintenance of these . We have a 1983 one which has never been used. Can we re-use this.
Thank you Elise

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Hi Elise,

The Government guide ‘Do You Have Paying Guests?’ https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/11085/payingguests.pdf states on page 14 that:

One extinguisher on each floor near the stairs

and a fire blanket in the kitchen should be

enough in most small premises. You will need

to make sure that the instructions on how to

use them are clear and that there is a warning

to people not to tackle anything other than a

very small fire. Evacuating the premises is the

safest thing to do.

They go on to tell you about multi-purpose fire extinguishers available from most DIY outlets, but multi-purpose extinguishers are ABC powder fire extinguishers and since the publication of this document powder has been deemed unsuitable for indoor use by the British Standards regarding fire extinguisher provision.

Assuming that the 1983 extinguisher you currently have has never been serviced I believe it would be unreliable so it would be best to replace it.

Water Mist extinguishers are suitable for most types of fire (they certainly cover everything a multi-purpose extinguisher would have), are safe for use on live electrics, are low pressure, filled with pure de-ionised water making them completely non-toxic and leave no residue http://www.safelincs.co.uk/1-litre-water-mist-fire-extinguisher/

Maintenance of fire extinguishers is also highly advisable as you cannot be sure that the extinguisher you have installed is actually in working order. If there was fire and someone was seriously injured, the fire officer would look into any fire safety provisions you have made and would certainly question any that haven’t been made!


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1983 is a museum piece (and as a collector of old/historical fire extinguishers something I'd probably be after!) and will be unservicable.

ABC Powder is a quick fix for everything other than cookers, but messy and frowned upon.

Water mist covers all likely domestic risks - solids/furnishing, cooking oils and electrical appliances. It's more expensive, but is the better option.

It takes a bit to get your head around the water and electrics bit, but I have a client who effectively and safely used a 3 litre water mist extinguisher on a live 415v industrial drier fire when the traditional extinguisher (2 kilo CO2) failed miserably so it's not all talk!

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