Location of Fire Extinguishers
In the event of a fire the availability of a fire extinguisher can potentially be the difference between a small fire being quickly extinguished with little damage to people's health or property, or in it becoming a raging inferno which can be deadly and turn the entire building into a large pile of ash. This makes these small pieces of equipment an essential necessity for fire safety, in conjunction with health and safety courses and training on how to prevent fires from starting in the first place, and could potentially save lives.
Just as the provision of fire extinguishers is important, so too is their location:-
For a start, it is a good idea to place them near machinery or in areas where the fire risk assessment has identified the potential for fire to be high(er). However they should not be situated so close to a machine that they would immediately be engulfed if the machinery were to burst into flames, as a person would then not be able to get to the extinguisher and use it to put out the flames, rendering the extinguisher pretty much useless. Contrastingly, it should also not be placed so far away that it would take a lot of time and effort to fetch it and then carry it back to the fire as this extra time may be enough for the fire to have gotten out of control and too ferocious to be tackled by fire extinguishers.
A fire extinguisher should not be placed too near to a source of heat or coldness, otherwise it may not function correctly when called upon. Even if not situated in such a location it should be regularly tested so that there is less chance of it failing if or when it is needed.
Extinguishers will also be particularly beneficial if placed along the route of escape and evacuation. Whilst a fire may be too large to put out, the extinguishers can be used to keep a route clear from fire as people evacuate the building.