Fire extinguishers in communal corridors

Imagine this being set off in the corridor outside your apartment!

Can we have fire extinguishers in the communal corridors?

You’ll think this a strange answer, but no. There are good reasons why not and below we’ve listed a number of the main reasons for communal areas being extinguisher free.

If there is a fire the guidance is to leave the area immediately. A fire extinguisher is counter-intuitive to this as they, kind of, give the confidence that it’s ok to attempt to fight the fire. The situation can deteriorate so quickly that the few seconds spent trying to use the extinguisher could cause massive problems with your escape.

Under health and safety requirements, if fire extinguishers are there the people who could use them need training. This is an impossible task as people come and go so quickly in apartments, and what about guests?

There are different types of fire extinguishers for different purposes such as wet, powder, CO2, etc. Each has a purpose but if used on the wrong fire could kill. Imagine using a wet extinguisher on an electrical fire. This could electrocute the person using it. Powder extinguishers make a massive mess and can also restrict vision in confined spaces. CO2 could spread a paper fire or cause breathing problems in confined spaces.

Imagine (and we’ve seen this in a car park) someone thinking it great fun to set off an extinguisher in a corridor. If it’s powder it’s like it’s snowed and cleaning up is a nightmare.

They also make great battering rams when removed from the wall for anyone wanting to smash a car window or front door.

We think it’s a great idea to have one in your apartment but go for the CO2, version as this covers electrical appliances. It’s also worth thinking about a fire blanket for pan fires. You can then read and understand your own extinguisher.

In communal areas, the guidance is not to have them.