Which fire extinguisher do I need for the office?

Posted by Nancy on April 29th, 2020

Offices and offices must legally be fitted with fire extinguishers, whether it be a multinational or a small home office. In the first instance, they follow the standard scheme and must provide 1 extinguishing unit per floor and per 150m². An extinguisher unit is a fire extinguisher of 6kg or 6l.

Powder or foam?

You have the choice between 6kg powder fire extinguishers and 6l foam fire extinguishers. We recommend that you always work with foam fire extinguishers for office buildings, because they cause much less collateral damage than powder fire extinguishers and because the powder is very difficult to clean after use. You need a special industrial vacuum cleaner for that.

Object protection

Office buildings must not only have the basic security in order, but they may also have to provide certain so-called object protection. For fire-sensitive places, they have to provide an extra fire extinguisher. For example, with a communal kitchen and large electrical cabinets, you should always provide 1 CO2 fire extinguisher of 5 kg.

Also, remember that all fire extinguishers should be hung on the wall, and their location marked with an icon. It is also legally required to have fire extinguishers maintained and inspected annually. This is the only way to be fully in order, even with your fire insurance.

What should you definitely remember?

If you want to provide your office with fire extinguishers, make sure to remember the following:

  • that you place 1 foam extinguisher of 6l per floor and per 150m²

  • that you provide kitchens and electrical cabinets with a 5kg CO2 extinguisher

  • that you have the fire extinguishers tested annually by a qualified technician.

Which fire extinguisher for Bed & Breakfast / Airbnb?

If you operate a small Bed & Breakfast or Airbnb, you must comply with the regulations imposed by the new Flemish Tourism Decree of 1 April 2017.

This decree divides the lodging into three categories based on their size:

  • Room related accommodation with less than 6 rental units and with less than 13 sleeping accommodations

  • Room-related accommodation with more than 5 rental units or with more than 12 sleeping accommodations

  • Terrain-related accommodation (such as campsites)

The regulations for the large stays are much more complicated than those for the small ones. However, B & Bs will typically fall into the first category, and that's a stroke of luck!

B & Bs and Airbnb's must follow standard regulations. This means that they have to provide at least one 6l foam fire extinguisher or 6kg powder fire extinguisher per floor and per 150m², the so-called extinguishing unit. Because powder fire extinguishers cause a lot more collateral damage than foam fire extinguishers and powder is much more difficult to clean yourself, we recommend foam fire extinguishers for use in B & B's.

You can determine the placement of the fire extinguishers refilling by yourself. They should be placed in the tourist accommodation or in the immediate vicinity of it; preferably on the escape route. They must be hung on the wall and indicated by an icon. They must, of course, meet the applicable standards and have a BENOR label.

Also, remember that all fire extinguishers must be checked annually by a specialized company!

In addition to fire extinguishers, B & Bs and Airbnb's must also provide sufficient smoke detectors: one in every accommodation, and one in every room on the escape route (up to the entrance door). You must provide at least 1 smoke detector on each floor. The smoke detectors must have a built-in non-replaceable battery that will last at least 5 years. Finally, you must also hang pictograms, and also provide an evacuation plan per accommodation and per floor. With an evacuation plan starter kit you can set yourself up quickly, easily, and cheaply.

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