How many fire extinguishers do you need in a building? A complete overview.
Fire safety is a topic we should always take seriously. Whether it is the fire safety of one's home, an office or other commercial premises such as a warehouse, there is nothing worse than fire and the misery it can cause. On top of this, when it comes to premises where people live or work, they are all at risk of (serious) bodily injury or even death in a fire if the premises are not fire-safe. The figures do not lie: in 2020, 31 fatal house fires killed 32 people. There were 3,617 industrial fires in that year. Most fires occurred in premises with an industrial function (30 per cent), followed by offices (23 per cent) and shops (20 per cent). So taking responsibility for a fire-safe environment is very important. In this article, we explain which firefighting tools can be used to increase fire safety.
According to health and safety legislation, you must ensure a fire-safe working environment. An important part of this is that non-automatic fire-fighting equipment such as fire extinguishers and fire hoses are easily accessible and easy to operate, and that you have a clear evacuation plan. The fire-fighting equipment should hang in accessible places in the company and always be available and ready to use. They should also be adapted to the type of fire that may occur in the area. For example, when working with hazardous or explosive substances, fire-fighting equipment should be adapted accordingly. Also, there must always be enough in-house first responders present who are adequately trained. To check whether your company is safe, including in terms of fire hazards, you must carry out (or have carried out) a Risk Inventory & Evaluation.
Safety = business premises x firefighting equipment
Installation of fire extinguishers
In principle, you may place fire extinguishers wherever it suits you best, but they should be evenly distributed over the area. Recommended locations are corridors, stairwells, central entrance halls and near room exits. That way, your escape route will be best protected. Fire extinguishers should also be prominently marked with a pictogram. Also remember that, to keep fire extinguishers ready for use, they should be maintained in good time by a REOB-trained technician. If a fire extinguisher is found to be malfunctioning, it should be replaced immediately.
How many fire extinguishers in a room or building?
The question, of course, is how many fire extinguishers are needed in a building for fire safety. This depends on a number of factors, such as how high the risk of fire actually is. But the size of the room and the number of employees that may be present in the premises also affect the number. If there is no increased risk of fire in the premises, one extinguisher per 200m2 is sufficient with a minimum of two extinguishers per floor. These extinguishers should then contain either 6 liters of (spray) foam or 6 kilos of powder. An extinguisher containing 5 kilos of CO2 is also sufficient. The maximum walking distance to an extinguisher should be 20 metres. If work is carried out in the building at risk of fire or if there are flammable substances in the building, there must be one extinguisher per 100m2 and at least 3 extinguishers per floor.
Are you looking for more information on fire safety in your premises? Then please contact us. FeniksGroup will be happy to advise you.
October 20, 2021 I Fire hazard
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