British Standards Institution has released a draft of the BS 5306-8:2000 Fire Extinguishing Installations and Equipment on Premises, Part 8: Code of Practice for the Selection and Installation of Portable Fire Extinguishers for public comment.
The standard covers how fire extinguishers should be selected and installed in buildings and details regarding the quantity and levels of cover required on premises. BS 5306-8:2000 includes sections on:
- Provision of Extinguishers
- Extinguisher Characteristics
- Positioning of Extinguishers
- Class A - Carbonaceous Fires
- Class B Cover - Liquids or Liquefiable Solids
- Class C Cover - Gaseous Hazards
- Class D Cover - Metal Hazards
- Class F Cover - Fats & Cooking Oil Hazards
- Cover for Electrical Hazards
- Provision of Replacement Extinguishers
Portable fire extinguishers are manufactured to suit different types of fire and should conform to BS EN 3, Portable Fire Extinguishers. This standard requires that each portable fire extinguisher must be clearly labelled to identify the classes of fire which are covered. LPCB approval helps ensure fire extinguishers meet appropriate standards and includes testing of individual components of the extinguisher, pressure safety of the vessel, correct labelling and operation instructions and satisfactory performance of extinguisher when tested.
The EU - Pressure Equipment Directive (PED) requires CE marking on portable fire extinguishers to be sold within the EU but does not demonstrate fire testing carried out by LPCB. To ensure reliable, proven performance of the fire extinguisher in fire conditions, it should carry independent proof of performance and CE marking.
BS EN 3-7 permits the use of a zone of colour up to 10% of the external area of the extinguisher body to identify the extinguishing agent. This is not mandatory within the UK but BS 7863, Recommendations for colour coding to indicate the extinguishing media contained in portable fire extinguishers, provides consistency where colour coding is used.