Fire extinguishersWith so many people working from home and living in units in complexes and cluster homes, employers have a duty to ensure that employees are safe wherever they work. Part of this would be advising them of fire safety at home or in the home office.

While fire has had so much benefit to humanity, cooking our food, warming our houses and in industrial manufacturing processes, uncontrolled fire is a highly destructive force that can cause widespread property damage and lead to loss of life. As a first line of defence in the event of an unplanned fire it is important to have a fire extinguisher within reach to stop a small fire from spreading. However, having fire extinguishers is not sufficient as they need to be in the correct place.

Fire Extinguisher Location

When fire breaks out, time is critical. A fire extinguisher in the correct location means the difference between rapidly putting out a small fire and it quickly spreading into an uncontrollable blaze. The quicker a fire extinguisher can be accessed and used, the better the odds of preventing significant loss.

Standpipe systems are installed in buildings to help firefighters deploy attack hose lines quickly and with adequate water pressure and volume. They may be designed for heavy stream applications, first aid fire appliances, or have features of both. 

Understanding the differences and recognizing their designs can help you to plan your fire attack and protect lives and property.

Recommended Extinguisher locations

Fire extinguisher location depends a lot on the premises.

In domestic residences, the kitchen is the most common place where fires occur. Second to the kitchen is the garage where flammable materials such as paint and fertilisers are kept. Keep a fire extinguisher in proximity to the stove and one near the back door. In the garage, keep an extinguisher near the door and one near your workbench if you have one. Candles, fireplaces and heaters in living rooms are another common source of fire as well as short circuits in electrical equipment. Place an extinguisher near the heat source and one near the door.

Fire extinguishers

People are most at risk when they are asleep so having an extinguisher in or near bedrooms is important. It should be easily accessible and may mean the difference between life and death. It should be noted that a domestic fire alarm should be fitted.

Standpipe systems are classified to indicate their performance and are classified from class 1 to 3.

Where should a fire extinguisher not be placed?

Fire extinguishers should be placed in strategic, easy to reach locations where they are easily accessible. They should not be situated behind furniture or in cupboards or be too high to reach in an emergency.

Do not place fire extinguishers too near sources of heat. Fire extinguishers are pressurised containers and if they become too hot, they can explode.

Avoid placing fire extinguishers in areas of high humidity. Moisture can cause the chemicals inside the extinguisher to deteriorate making it less effective when needed.

Fire extinguishers

How many fire extinguishers are required?

The number of fire extinguishers needed will depend on the size of the building and its purpose whether domestic or business. Ideally, there should be an extinguisher on each level of a home and in the kitchen and garage.

Place them where they are conspicuous and securely attached and easily removed for use and ensure that occupants know how to use them..

Firebrand Group is one of South Africa’s premium fire companies. It was established with the intention of providing clients with comprehensive fire protection solutions to minimise and eliminate