Portable fire extinguishers

Jul 08, 2021

Portable fire extinguishers placed in the workplace can help protect you and your employees.

The most important purpose of a portable fire extinguisher is to help people escape from the fire, and they can be utilised to clear away the fire from the escape route, or help keep an exit open for other people.

Let's look at some frequently asked questions surrounding the topic of portable fire extinguishers.

What is a portable fire extinguisher?

A portable fire extinguisher is an item of equipment with the purpose of extinguisher a fire that breaks out. It is important to note that a portable fire extinguisher is effective only for the type and size of fire that it is rated for.

What are the different types of portable fire extinguishers?

The three main types of portable fire extinguishers are:

  • Water extinguishers
  • Co2 extinguishers
  • Dry chemical extinguishers

When should you use a portable fire extinguisher?

A portable fire extinguisher is to be used in the first instance of a fire. In the early stages of a fire, before the fire grows beyond the capacity of a portable fire extinguisher, this is your first attack scenario.

For more information about fires in the workplace, and how you can protect your Northamptonshire business here:

How often do portable fire extinguishers need to be inspected?

Portable fire extinguishers should be inspected on a monthly basis.

Some things to check during a monthly portable fire extinguisher inspection are:

  • Are the fire extinguishers well supported, and hangers fastened securely?
  • Are the fire extinguishers accessible?
  • Are the extinguishers in good working condition?
  • Is the ring pin in place?
  • Is the seal intact? 

What are the limitations of portable fire extinguishers?

The limitations of portable fire extinguishers are that the discharge distance may not be enough to keep people safe, and the fire under control.

What are the main basic components of a portable extinguisher?

Inside a portable fire extinguisher, the following components can be found:

  • A storage vessel
  • An extinguishing agent
  • A propellant
  • A valve
  • A directional nozzle

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