Don’t cut corners on fire safety

5 September 2022 AGF Fire Protection

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

It is a legal requirement for companies to reduce the risk of fire and take fire safety precautions. This includes fire risk assessments, fire safety management, and fire safety training for employees. But even when your company has all the legal requirements in hand, you still need to ensure your staff don’t cut corners on fire safety. 

Don’t hide your fire extinguishers

You’d be surprised by how many times we come across coats and jackets hanging on top of fire extinguishers. If you have to operate a fire extinguisher in an emergency, the last thing you need is to have to get a pile of coats of the way first. Many coats and jackets are also made of flammable materials and are therefore fire hazards in their own right. If the coats and jackets hanging on the fire extinguisher are on fire, the extinguisher will be rendered useless, just at the point you need it most. It’s therefore your responsibility to ensure your staff don’t use fire extinguishers as coat hooks and to provide them with somewhere more appropriate to hang their outerwear.

Floor-standing fire extinguishers

If you have a fire extinguisher standing on the floor, the chances are someone will move it and use it as a doorstop. Indeed they’re quite often used to prop open fire exits – a double whammy for fire risk! To stop people being able to move them about on a whim, mount your extinguishers on the wall – this will usually be a good enough deterrent, and it means your extinguishers will always be in the same place when you need them most. 

Be aware of staff changes 

If a member of staff who has been acting as the responsible person for fire safety leaves, or even if they’re just on annual leave for a week or two, ask for a debrief before they go. That way you won’t miss any information they have in their heads but may not have got round to writing down. 

Test your alarms regularly 

If you do not test your fire alarms and smoke alarms at least once a month, you could be cutting the biggest corner of all. It only takes a few minutes, but it will give everyone peace of mind that the alarms will do their job properly should the need arise. Even if they appear to be in good working condition, you need to replace your fire alarms every ten years. 


Never assume that your staff know what to do in the event of a fire. It could have been years since someone last experienced a fire drill or was reminded which fire extinguisher to use if there was ever an electrical fire. Hire a specialist to refresh your staff’s fire safety training every year or two years to make sure the fire safety message is heard and understood. 

Don’t get complacent 

Complacency with regard to fire safety will lead to many corners being cut. Just believing that everything will be OK if there is a fire is not enough. So make sure alarm tests, fire safety equipment maintenance work, checks, and staff training are regularly scheduled in order to keep everyone safe. 

If you would like any fire safety advice for your company, get in touch to talk to one of our highly trained specialists. 

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