For UK business owners, ensuring the safety of your premises is not just a priority; it’s a legal requirement. Fire safety is a critical element of this, and having the right fire extinguishers in the right places plays a significant role in maintaining a safe working environment. One of the key questions often asked is whether fire extinguishers need to be wall-mounted or if they can simply be left on the floor. Let’s clear up any confusion and ensure your business remains compliant and safe.

Wall-Mounting vs. Free-Standing: Understanding the Compliance Standards

In the UK, the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires all non-domestic premises to adhere to strict fire safety regulations, which include the proper installation and accessibility of fire extinguishers. According to British Standards (BS 5306-8:2012), fire extinguishers should not be placed directly on the floor. This isn’t just a recommendation; it’s part of ensuring they are kept in a ready-to-use condition, protected from damage, and accessible at all times.

Wall-Mounted Extinguishers: Mounting extinguishers on the wall is one of the most common practices. This method not only keeps the extinguishers out of the way of daily operations but also prevents them from being knocked over or obstructed. Wall brackets or cabinets are used to secure the extinguishers at a height that is accessible to all potential users, typically not more than 1.5 meters from the floor to the handle.

Free-Standing Extinguishers: If wall mounting is not feasible, due to the nature of the wall materials or other structural limitations, extinguishers can be installed on free-standing plinths or stands. These stands are designed to hold the fire extinguisher securely and at the correct height, ensuring they are easily visible and accessible without posing a trip hazard or risk of damage.

The Risks of Improper Placement

Leaving fire extinguishers simply standing on the floor is not only non-compliant with UK fire safety regulations but also poses several risks:

  • Damage: Extinguishers placed on the floor are more susceptible to being knocked over, potentially causing damage to the extinguisher itself and rendering it unreliable or unusable in an emergency.
  • Obstruction: Fire extinguishers left on the floor can easily become obstructed by other objects or overlooked, especially in a busy work environment.
  • Inaccessibility: In an emergency, every second counts. Having to move other items to access an extinguisher can result in delays when immediate action is needed.

How Twenty4 Fire and Security Can Help

At Twenty4 Fire and Security, we understand the critical nature of fire safety and compliance for your business. We offer a comprehensive range of services designed to ensure that your business premises remain safe and compliant with the latest fire safety regulations. This includes the supply, installation, and maintenance of fire extinguishers suited to every type of business environment.

We also provide a variety of extinguisher stands and mounting solutions tailored to meet the specific needs of your business. Whether your premises require wall-mounted units for streamlined access or free-standing models to suit structural limitations, we have the expertise and products to secure your safety needs.