5 questions about how to store & position fire extinguishers answered

Jan 25, 2021

Where and how you store your fire extinguishers in the workplace is paramount, so that in an emergency, you can be confident that your fire extinguishers work properly and effectively.

1. How should you store a fire extinguisher?

Related question: Can a fire extinguisher be stored on its side?

Check the owner's manual to be sure, but most modern fire extinguishers are pressurized enough to be stored either on its side or upright. A non-pressurized fire extinguisher will most likely require to be stored upright.

2. Where should you position a fire extinguisher?

One of the most important aspects of positioning fire extinguishers is making sure they are accessible and clearly visible. Keep at least 1 fire extinguisher in a central location on each floor of your business premises. Make sure all of your employees know where the fire extinguishers are located and how to use them.


Normally, extinguishers should be located:

  • in conspicuous positions on brackets, on floor stands, or within cabinets
  • where they will be readily seen by persons following an escape route
  • most suitably, near room exits, corridors, stairways, lobbies and landings
  • in similar positions on each floor, where floors are of similar appearance

3. Where should fire extinguishers be located?

Anything that gives off heat is a potential fire hazard, so consider keeping a fire extinguisher near your heating sources. Fire extinguishers need to be readily accessible by employees in the event of a fire. Depending on your facility’s fire hazards, fire extinguishers with different ratings may be required in different locations.

Extinguishers should not be located:

  • where a potential fire might prevent access to them
  • over or close to heating appliances
  • in concealed positions behind doors, in cupboards or deep recesse
  • where they might cause obstruction to exit routes
  • where they might be damaged

4. Are you able to access your fire extinguisher?

Consider these important questions:

  • Can a fire (starting at one of the potential fire hazards listed above) prevent you from reaching the fire extinguisher?
  • Is the fire extinguisher within reach, regardless of which item is the source of the fire?
  • Does anything else prevent you from accessing your fire extinguisher?

Above all, ensure your fire extinguishers are in locations which are easy to access.

5. What type of fire extinguisher do you need?

Different fire extinguishers will have slightly different requirements. These differences will help you determine where and how to store that specific fire extinguisher.

If you are not sure what fire extinguisher you have or will need, check out The Fire Extinguisher Simple Colours Guide.

Need more advice on fire extinguishers?

If your business needs advice on fire extinguisher cover, or you need specific advice for your business, we can arrange for one of our BAFE accredited engineers to visit your premises and carry out a free, no-obligation survey.

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