Do fire extinguishers need to be fitted to the wall?

In the UK, fire extinguishers are not legally required to be wall-mounted, but they must be securely placed to prevent them from being knocked over or damaged and to ensure they are readily accessible in the event of a fire. Here are the guidelines regarding the placement of fire extinguishers:

  • Stable Position: Fire extinguishers should be kept in a stand or bracket to ensure they remain upright and are not knocked over. The stand or bracket also helps to highlight the location of the extinguisher, making it more visible and accessible in an emergency.
  • Height Considerations: If wall-mounted, the carrying handle of larger extinguishers (heavier than 4kg) should be about 1 meter from the ground, whereas smaller extinguishers (not exceeding 4kg) should have their handles about 1.5 meters from the ground. This is to ensure they can be easily reached and removed from their mounting.
  • Accessibility: Fire extinguishers should be placed in locations where they can be easily accessed in the event of a fire. They should not be hidden behind doors, curtains, or furniture, and there should be clear signs indicating their location.
  • Near Exits and Risk Areas: Ideally, extinguishers should be located near room exits, in corridors, and close to specific areas of risk but not so close that they could become inaccessible in the event of a fire in those areas.
  • Avoid Obstructions: Ensure that fire extinguishers are not obstructed by equipment, furniture, or decorations. People should be able to access them without having to move anything aside.

While wall mounting is common and can be a good way to keep extinguishers out of the way of daily activities, using a proper stand or cabinet is also acceptable, especially in areas where wall mounting might not be practical. The key is that the extinguisher is properly supported and easily accessible, not necessarily that it is attached to a wall. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines and local fire safety regulations when installing fire extinguishers.

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