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Essential Fire Equipment You Should Have

Every employer has a responsibility to provide a workplace with the correct fire equipment and signage to ensure the safety of their employees. However, what is the essential fire equipment you should have, and what are the rules surrounding it?

We will cover everything you need to know about the essential fire equipment a workplace should have, as well as the proper signage and some rules to consider when placing signs. If you want to find out more, keep reading to learn everything you need to know.

Fire Safety: What You Need to Know

Every workplace and commercial property needs to have the appropriate signage and equipment on the premises to ensure the safety of those who work there. Not only does this include all the correct fire safety signage such as fire extinguisher information, fire assembly points, and fire escape routes, but also the equipment. 

According to The Health and Safety (Safety Signs and Signals) Regulations 1996, all fire fighting equipment must be red, as well as any signs linked to them. Although making sure that the fire fighting equipment itself is red is deemed acceptable, having the appropriate signage is also recommended.

It’s important to note that, while red is used for fire safety signs and danger, it is also used for prohibition signs. This means that you shouldn’t assume that any red sign means that it is fire-related, and you should have a closer look before jumping to conclusions. 

Fire Safety Signs Regulations and Placement

Legislation relating to fire signage and safety, such as the RRO (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005) and the aforementioned Health and Safety Regulations (1996), states that every workplace has to follow strict guidelines when it comes to fire safety. 

Some rules and regulations set out include things like ensuring that fire safety signs are adequately illuminated, tactile and braille versions must be included, and employees must be trained to use the equipment. 

Signs need to be displayed in a visible area along exit routes, and all signs need to be put up at a reasonable height to ensure they are visible from a distance. All escape routes and doors need to be clearly marked with the appropriate signs, and direction arrows must feature on all route signs, but not on signs placed above doors. 

Most Common Causes of Fires

Essential Fire Equipment You Should Have

Fires can start with the smallest spark and quickly turn into dangerous infernos. Misuse of equipment is the most common cause of fires in the workplace, and even the smallest misuses can have disastrous effects. 

Other common causes of fires in the workplace include things like obstructed vents, smoking where you shouldn’t, improperly stored flammable materials, and lax safety measures. Issues such as arson and a lack of training also play a key role in a number of fires in the workplace. 

In most workplaces, one of the top things to be aware of is how common electrical fires are. This can happen due to anything from faulty or outdated wiring to overloaded circuits and the misuse of extension cords.   

Essential Fire Equipment You Should Have

Fire equipment is essential – but what equipment should you aim to get? The answer will vary depending on where you work and the hazards of your environment. However, there are a few pieces of fire fighting and safety equipment that you should have in all workplaces, no matter how “safe” they may seem. 

Some essential fire equipment you should have includes the following:

  • Fire extinguishers
  • Emergency lighting
  • Fire alarms
  • First aid kit
  • Fire blankets 
  • Sprinklers 
  • Fire escape plans
  • Exit signs
  • Logbooks

Although things like logbooks, first aid kits, and a few other items on the list are not exclusive to fire safety, they are very beneficial to have in the case of any kind of emergency. It’s easy for injuries to happen in the panic of a potential fire, and a first aid kit will be your first point of all. 

For logbooks, it is recommended to always have some on hand, as well as keep digital copies to refer back to. This will allow you to assess all the relevant information to the fire and come up with plans to negate risks in the future. You should always be striving to improve safety in the workplace, and logbooks are an excellent way to do that. 

Fire fighting equipment should be placed by all alarm call points, exist, and any other locations that could make sense, such as potential locations for a fire to start. For example, you might find a fire extinguisher in a break room near a kitchen, or hanging on the wall in an office.

What Are the Laws Surrounding Fire Equipment in the UK?

Both employers and employees have a responsibility to take measures to make their workplace safe. Employers need to ensure that the workplace has the correct signage, fire assembly points, and that all signage is in a suitable location. Workplaces also need to have the appropriate safety signs, such as multi-hazard construction signs, and carry out inspections on fire fighting equipment. 

All workplaces must have the “appropriate fire-fighting equipment”. Although this is vague, it is reasonable to suggest that this will include things like portable fire extinguishers for most workplaces, and more equipment for higher risk places, such as restaurants.

Every workplace must also have the appropriate fire safety signs, risk signs, and warning signs. The appropriate signs for fire assembly points and fire extinguisher safety signs also need to be provided in suitable places where people can see. 

Equipment Inspections

All fire fighting equipment must be inspected and maintained to ensure that they remain in good working order. Annual maintenance tests must be carried out, and every piece of equipment must be certified to industry standards. 

For fire extinguisher inspections, a “responsible person” will carry out monthly checks where they look for any issues with the equipment. This will include checking if:

  • There is any kind of damage to the fire extinguisher
  • Nozzles and hoses are torn, cracked, or blocked
  • The pressure dial is still pointed at green
  • The handle is secure
  • Any seals, locking pins, or tamper indicators are missing or broken
  • There are any missing or damaged service labels (missing labels need to immediately get replaced)
  • Seeing if the extinguisher’s tank feels full
  • Anything is obstructing the path to or visibility of the fire extinguisher
  • The operating instructions of the fire extinguisher are visible and clear

Let Us Leave a Lasting Impression

Do Red Signs Indicate the Presence of Fire Equipment

At Lasting Impressions, our goal is to provide you with everything you need to help keep businesses and people safe. We do this through our vast range of products, and put information together to help you stay informed about changes and regulations. 

For more information, why not visit our about us section and read over our latest news? If you want to get in touch to find out more about our signs, shipping costs, returnsprivacy policy, and terms and conditions  information, we would love to hear from you.  

We also have a selection of blogs and guides to help you navigate the world of safety signage, including how long your signs should last, understanding fire extinguisher safety signs, how to add proper signage to your equipment, and even creating a fire escape plan for your workplace.

With our EC-directive safety signs, you can find all the signs that your workplace needs in order to be safe. Paired with the essential fire equipment you should have, you can make your workplace feel more comfortable and let people know that you have taken all the necessary steps to ensure their health and wellbeing.