Fire Extinguishers Cheltenham

Frequently Asked Questions ​(FAQs)

UK fire extinguisher requirements

Based on the questions we generally get asked about fire extinguishers, servicing and maintaining them, we have put together this helpful FAQ guide. 

However, we do recommend speaking to a fire protection professional about your individual needs. Call 01242 508 164 or email to speak to one of our helpful fire protection engineers.

Are fire extinguishers required by law?

The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 is the main legislation governing fire safety in England and Wales. It requires businesses to take reasonable steps to reduce the risk of fire and to ensure staff and customers (all people at the premises) can safely escape if there is a fire.

The initial phase of fulfilling this legal obligation is the completion of a though fire risk assessment. A fire risk assessment is a process that identifies and evaluates the risk of fire and determines necessary actions to remove or minimise potential risks. A crucial part of the fire risk assessment is to identify all the firefighting equipment needed, including fire extinguishers.

What type of fire extinguishers do I need?

There are 5 different types of fire extinguishers: water-based, foam, CO2, power-based and wet chemical. Each one has a different method of fighting fires due to its content or the type of jet spray that it administers the content inside with. It is paramount that the correct fire extinguishers are specified. Using the wrong extinguisher could literally result in ‘adding fuel to the fire!’ and be lethal.

Fires can be classified into 5 classes due to flammable materials and require a different firefighting approach. (detailed in the chart).

We would always recommend seeking professional advice when purchasing, installing and commissioning fire extinguishers. You should ensure that your business as has undertaken a fire risk assessment at your premises. Call 01242 508 164 or email to speak to one of our helpful fire protection engineers.

Fire extinguishers cheltenham-type chart

Fire extinguishers Cheltenham – Type chart.

How many fire extinguishers are required for business premises?

Carrying out a comprehensive fire risk assessment at your premises by a qualified fire protection engineer will provide you with the most accurate and correct quantity and variants needed. Basic guidance based on the British Standard 5306 All fire extinguishers are ‘rated’ based on their ability to extinguish test fires. The most commonly installed extinguisher is the Class A red 9-litre water fire extinguisher, used for flammable solids such as paper, wood and textiles. BS 5306 states a formula for calculating the number of class A extinguishers needed. One 13A extinguisher covers 200 square meters The formula is a basic rule of thumb, it doesn’t consider the risks in the building and only calculates the number of extinguishers on premises size alone. The BS 5306-8 2012 update, recommends that: Each storey with a floor area less than or equal to 400m² should have at least 2 extinguishers, with a minimum combined fire rating of 26A. For any storey with a floor area exceeding 400 m² the A-rated extinguishers should have a combined minimum fire rating of 0.065 x floor area of the storey (in square metres).  Therefore, in basic terms for every additional 200m² you require an extra 13A extinguisher.  The above information is a useful guide to help to understand approximately how many class A fire extinguisher you may need but there are a multitude of factors to consider, many of which only a professional fire protection engineer can correctly identify.

For complete compliance, assurance speak to one of our fire protection engineers – Call 01242 508 164 or email

Where should fire extinguishers be situated?

Extinguishers must be available for immediate use at all times and located in conspicuous positions. This ensures that they can be easily seen by people following a predetermined escape route. It’s important to encourage people to move towards the exits rather than further into the building to locate a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are frequently located near fire alarm call points so that someone can raise the alarm and then pick up an extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers should be in a fixed position whether it is mounted on a wall or on a fire extinguisher stand and should be clearly visible and predominately red. The extinguishers must be securely mounted with brackets (in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions) so that they do not become dislodged, fall and injure people. Signs should also be considered to indicate the location of the fire extinguisher.

Travel Distance
Fire extinguishers should be located near to potential fire hazards, for example server rooms or kitchens. There are maximum distances that someone should have to travel from the potential fire site to reach an extinguisher.

Call 01242 508 164 or email to speak to one of our helpful fire protection engineers.

useful guide

The chart provides a guide to help to understand where fire extinguishers should be sited however it is advised to seek the advice of qualified fire protection professionals.

Class A
Combustible materials

30 metres

Class B
Flammable liquids

10 metres

Class C
Flammable gases

30 metres

Class D
Flammable metals

Seek expert advice

Class F
Deep fat fryers

10 metres

Fire extinguishers Cheltenham – Distance chart.

How often should fire extinguishers be inspected?

Fire extinguishers need to work immediately when required, so they must be regularly checked and serviced.  All fire extinguishers should be visually inspected once a month by an appointed fire marshal within your company or the owner of the extinguisher and serviced every 12 months.

Basic Service
The 12 month inspection is known as a basic service conducted by a third-party accredited fire extinguisher technician, with the correct tools, training and experience. 

Extended Service
Most fire extinguishers need extended services every five years. The service involves completely discharging the extinguisher, checking for internal corrosion, refilling and repressurising. Just like the basic service this needs to be conducted by a third-party accredited fire extinguisher technician.

CO2 extinguishers are high-pressure vessels (much higher pressure than other fire extinguishers) and are subject to slightly different regulations and requires an extended service every 10 years.

Due to this, they’re subject to slightly different regulations and require different servicing than others. A CO2 extinguisher requires an extended service every 10 years. Also, some power extinguishers that have primary seals so fall into the extended service every 10 years category.

Do you need to arrange a service for your fire extinguishers?

Our regular maintenance services will make sure your fire extinguishers are in good working condition.

Fill in the form below for a quote or request a call back to discuss your requirements with a Fire Protection Engineer.