Over the years even I have thought that Fire Extinguishers seem to be no more than fancy door wedges, however I have just read an article (as you all know I’m not a big fan of H&S publications, but sort of tripped over this one). Anyway, the main point of the article was that ‘an extinguisher is effective on 88% of all fires tackled’. Which are pretty good odds!

It made me consider Fire Extinguishers and (being as we have to have them) how we could make them more productive. Here are my thoughts:

  1. Run through the basics with all staff, including how to hold an extinguisher, what types of fire a particular extinguisher can be used for, when to use it and how to aim it.
  2. Make sure that staff regularly check your extinguishers are in the correct place.

It appears that extinguishers ARE very effective on small fires, so don’t get rid of them or treat them as an ornament to keep doors open. Instead train staff to use them and make them a part of your Emergency Plans.