Do I have to have fire extinguishers on my property?
It is enforced via the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 that proper fire fighting equipment is present at your place of business and/or public property. Regular servicing of this equipment, such as fire extinguishers, is required to ensure it is in working order.
You should be aware that while local fire and rescue authorities will often give advice and assistance on appropriate fire safety measures when viewing your property, they can also issue penalties if your fire safety measures are not adequate. These penalties can range from fines all the way up to worse prison sentences in the most severe cases.
It is recommended as per Building Standard Code BS 5306 that all fire extinguishers are serviced annually, after 5 years an extended service is required.
CO2 Extinguishers must be replaced after 10 years. And all other types of extinguisher have a maximum lifespan of 20 years.
All the above servicing time scales must be brought forward in the case of damage or use.
There should be at least one Responsible Person (RP) for fire safety at the property. Who this is can vary, and if there are multiple RP’s for example with larger businesses then they must ensure that all responsibilities have been covered between them.
This RP can be anyone with control of the premises, this could include though is not restricted to:
- The Property Owner
- The Landlord
- Facilities Manager
- Building Manager
- Risk Assessor
The RP must ensure, that the premises has adequate Fire Safety equipment, plans for emergencies, records of servicing and maintenance are maintained and on hand, and that any other persons at the property are aware of the fire safety measures in place.