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How do I know if I have too many fire extinguishers in my school or college

The number of fire extinguishers required in a school or college should have been decided as part of the fire risk assessment conducted under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005. The fire risk assessment should have looked at your school or college premises' construction, size and the type of activities undertaken and then decided on the type and number of fire extinguishers (or other fire supression systems) required for the identified fire safety hazards. If you have changed the use of rooms within the school or college since the fire risk assessment was undertaken, then the information in the assessment may need updating if the fire risk has altered.

water fire extinguisher with flames in background

Fire extinguishers come in different classes.The class represents the type of burning material it is suitable to extinguish. Therefore, when working out how many extinguishers should be in a building it is not purely a numerical calculation based on size.

The most common type of combustible material in schools and colleges is Class A. As a general rule in schools and colleges there should be one Class A fire extinguisher for every 200m2, with at least two of these extinguishers per floor of the building. There will be other fire class types present in your school or college. Extinguishers which are suitable for these should be provided where necessary. Fire extinguishers should normally be located on the evacuation route from the area or if for a specific fire hazard close to its location. This means that fire extinguishers are often located in corridors. Where practicable fire extinguishers for different fire classes should be located together. Users of the building should not have to travel over 30m to locate an appropriate class of fire extinguisher.

If you are unsure of about the type and numbers of extinguishers you require for your school or college, our Fire Technicans would be happy to advise you as part of a servicing visit. Our Technicans are fully salaried and do not receive commission. They therefore have no incentive to sell you fire equipment you do not require. In fact often they will tell clients how to reduce the number of extinguishers they need.