Fire-fighting guidelines

Fire-fighting equipment

Check that you are familiar with the fire-fighting equipment in your workplace; you might need particular training in how to use it.

Fire-fighting equipment consists of:

  • portable fire extinguishers;
  • fixed hose reels;
  • fire hoses and hydrants;
  • sprinkler systems; and
  • fire blankets

Portable fire extinguishers

The table below sets out kinds of extinguishers and their uses.

You should:

  • make yourself familiar with these extinguishers and their uses;
  • see if the local fire authority provides further training
  • ask if any staff or students have fire warden training and can assist.

Fixed hose reels

These are wall mounted in accessible locations or in a cabinet. They are connected to a constant water supply and are for use on fires involving ordinary combustibles, e.g. wood, paper, rubbish textiles, etc.

They must not be used on live electrical equipment.

Fire hoses and hydrants:

External and internal hydrants are for use only by the fire authority or a qualified fire fighting team. They must not be used by unqualified people.

Sprinkler systems

These systems are designed to detect, control and/or extinguish a fire. Sprinkler heads are set off by heat and supply a continuous supply of water onto the fire. The fire authority will be automatically alerted when the system is activated. There must be a contract in place for the maintenance of the system and regular testing carried out.

Fire blankets

Fire blankets work by depriving the fire of oxygen. They are suitable for use on small fires contained in pans, trays, etc. They are ideal for use in kitchens for fat fires and the like. They are also ideal to suppress flames when wrapped around a person whose clothing has caught on fire. Blankets work by depriving the fire of oxygen.


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