The LWF Blog

Fire Safety for Facilities Management Personnel – Fire & Staff Training – Part 227

November 13, 2023 12:17 pm

Lawrence Webster Forrest (LWF) is a specialist fire engineering and fire risk management consultancy whose aim is to give information on best practice in fire safety for facilities management personnel through this blog series. In part 226, LWF talked about staff fire safety and equipment training. In part 227, we continue to look at how organisations may approach fire equipment and training of staff before considering the checks on fire extinguishing appliances.

In the last blog, we looked at the evidence for a company training system to educate all employees on fire safety and the use of first-aid fire equipment such as extinguishers. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order requires appropriate firefighting equipment be provided where necessary and that measures for firefighting, including the nomination of competent and adequately trained persons be put into place.

Some organisations interpret this as a need for all staff to receive training, but some see it differently. The qualification that people be nominated and trained where necessary indicates that it is possible for only certain members of staff to be trained to a high standard and be permitted to tackle a fire should one start.

Checks on fire extinguishing appliances

All fire extinguishing appliances must be checked, inspected and maintained on an annual basis by appropriate specialists, according to BS 5306-3 Fire extinguishing installations and equipment on premises – Commissioning and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers – Code of practice.

However, there are certain checks that should be made on a more regular basis – monthly would be advisable. They are:

  1. That access to hose reels and extinguishers is unobstructed
  2. Manual hose reel valves are in the off position and free from leaks
  3. Hoses are neatly wound on the reel
  4. Hose reel nozzles are not blocked
  5. Both hose reel pumps operate correctly, where provided
  6. All fire extinguishers are in their correct position and undamaged
  7. All fire extinguishers are mounted on brackets (esp where tampering is possible)
  8. The pressure gauges of stored pressure extinguishers indicate normal pressure
  9. Seals on hose reel valves or extinguisher release controls are in place
  10. Labels attached to appliances indicate that maintenance has been undertaken in the last 12 months.

In part 228 of this series, LWF will look at fixed fire-fighting systems installed in a building. In the meantime, if you have any queries about your own facilities or wish to discuss this blog series, please contact LWF on freephone 0800 410 1130.

Lawrence Webster Forrest is a fire engineering consultancy based in Surrey with over 35 years’ experience, which provides a wide range of consultancy services to professionals involved in the design, development and construction and operation of buildings.


While care has been taken to ensure that information contained in LWF’s publications is true and correct at the time of publication, changes in circumstances after the time of publication may impact on the accuracy of this information.

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