Fire extinguishers in the workplace

Fire safety is extremely important within every workplace, and there are a number of important things that business, and building owners must do to maintain fire safety. This includes acquiring an appropriate number of fire extinguishers. 

Read on to find out how fire extinguishers work, and how many you need in your workplace.

What is a fire extinguisher?

The three elements involved in creating fire are extreme heat, oxygen and fuel. Fire extinguishers are designed to eliminate at least one of these elements so that a fire will go out. Fire extinguishers are metal cylinders filled with a smothering material such as water. When you release the lever at the top of the fire extinguisher cylinder, the material is discharged at high pressure smothering the fire and either putting it out completely or reducing the number of flames.

Installing fire extinguishers in your workplace

There are a number of factors workplace owners, and operators must consider when installing fire extinguishers. The following should always be considered.

Layout and room size: The placement of extinguishers is governed by the Building Code of Australia. According to the code, extinguishers must be placed every 15 metres for Class-A extinguishers or every 20 metres for Class E and F extinguishers. Furthermore, the square footage of the workplace, as well as its layout, will determine the number of extinguishers that are required. 

Business type: It is important to note that the more high risk the business is, the more extinguishers it may require. For example, an office-based workplace will require fewer extinguishers than a manufacturing plant or welding yard. 

Presence of flammable liquids: If the workplace stores gasses or flammable liquids, a 10B rated fire extinguisher must be placed with 15 metres.

Stair Wells: If the workplace has more that one storey, a minimum of one extinguisher must be placed adjacent to the stairway.

Using fire extinguishers

If you find yourself in a situation where you need to use a fire extinguisher, it is vital that you know how to operate it. While there are different types of extinguishers, they generally function in the same way:

1. Pull: Pull the pin in order to break the tamper seal.

2. Aim: Aim low, pointing the nozzle or hose at the base of the fire. (Be careful not touch the horn on a CO2 extinguisher)

3. Squeeze: Squeeze the handle to release the extinguishing agent.

4. Sweep: Sweep from side to side at the base of the fire, the fuel source, until the fire is out.

While fire extinguishers are always an essential precaution, there are many other ways you can ensure fire safety in the workplace. FSE Special Purpose Doors work with many clients to design, manufacture and install fire safety doors for office buildings. We supply a wide range of fire doors to meet the needs of any building. These can be built using a variety of materials and configured and fitted to meet most aesthetic and functional requirements. FSE Special Purpose Doors manufactures Automatic Doors for numerous industries throughout Australia.

If you have any questions about Fire Extinguishers, or about Special Purpose Fire Doors in general, you can find our products here. To book a quote, phone 1300 4 DOORS, or contact us.