Service Fire Extinguishers to BS 5306 On A Bike! Is it Possible?

Service Fire Extinguishers to BS 5306 On A Bike! Is it Possible?

Sounds Crazy? Read On

I watched “No Impact Man” on Netflix the other week. For those of you who haven’t seen this film it is about a family who decide to leave their high consumption 5th Avenue lifestyle behind and try to live a year while making no environmental impact.
This got me thinking. What could I do to help the environment?
So I decided to leave the vehicle on its drive and plan a day of how I could help the environment.

How did I go about doing this?
The Problem
I needed to have some fire extinguishers delivered and serviced plus I needed to do visit some new customers on the way too and visit some clients without using a vehicle or public transport.
The round trip was about 24 miles all within the Birmingham area – Too far to walk
So I decided to use my trusted steed, my mountain bike.

hardrock sport


However I still had the problem of getting fire extinguishers to my customers.

BS 5306 Serviced foam fire extinguishers

Obviously there were way too many to carry, besides one 6 ltr foam extinguisher can weigh up to 10 kg, way too much to carry on my bike.

So I called my supplier who said it would only cost me £10 to get my order delivered.
Great, problem solved.

Here is a list of equipment needed to fuel my body service fire extinguishers to BS 5306:

  • Ruck sack
  • Tools for servicing : Adjustable spanner, gauge tester, tamper tags, scales, service labels, rag
  • Puncture repair kit
  • First aid kit
  • Multitool for my bike
  • 2 litres of water
  • Nuts for energy and protein

Body fuel

The journey
Now came the difficult bit as I wasn’t using a vehicle I had to get from A to B without using any motorways or dual carriage ways. I didn’t really fancy using the Birmingham canal paths as I wanted to be clean and presentable looking when I arrived at my customers.
So I used the  google maps app on my phone set it for bike journeys only and planned my route. I also made sure I had enough charge on my phone otherwise I could easily get lost should my battery die on me.

By plugging an ear piece into my phone I could hear the directions rather than trying to watch them as I would in a van or car, this worked surprisingly well, I only got lost once or twice for about 5-10 mins at a time.

When I arrived at one of my customers, which is a doctor’s surgery. The senior partner was quite shocked to see me on my bike especially when I told him that I had done about 14 miles up to that point.
I serviced the fire extinguishers that had been delivered and placed them in the appropriate positions as defined by BS 5306 pt 8 2012. Got back on my bike and carried on visiting my other customers.

The whole day I visited 3 customers and 3 potential customers all done on my bike which resulted in helping the environment . I did around 24 miles and burnt around 1800 calories.

Would I do it again?
Most definitely, I felt an enormous amount of happiness that I was doing my bit for the environment. Although it was only me making a difference for one day, this got me thinking again, what if I did it for a week, a month or even a year?. Not only would I be helping the environment I would also be helping my health too.

May be we should all decide for one day a week to leave the car or whatever vehicle you drive on the drive/road/garage and do our business/work by pedal power.
What kind of difference would that make?


What would you do to help?


BS 5306 Main Points To Consider

BS 5306 main points to consider

Often we come across something that we don’t understand or want more information on and it can be difficult and frustrating to find what were looking for. We can scour the internet looking for info on BS 5306 only to find bits here and there. That is why we have put together a compilation of the best tips and advice from the best sources available to help you find the information you need from one place quickly.

1) Training in the use of extinguishers

Section 4.5 of BS 5306 – 8, Clearly states that the Competent Person has a duty to make the Responsible Person aware of the legal requirement for training in the use of fire extinguishers.

Here is an example of correct use of an extinguisher

2) Empty Buildings
 “The Responsible Person or Competent Person should assess the provision of extinguishers where buildings, or parts thereof, are unoccupied.

3) Extinguisher Signs
The position and type of extinguisher should be indicated on a sign, so that if the unit is removed, this can be identified during a safety inspection and a replacement ordered. If an extinguisher is not visible it should be indicated by a location sign.

fire extinguisher missing sign

4) The Environment
 Section 4.2 of BS 5306, states the impact of the discharge of the extinguisher medium should be taken into account.

5) Avoidance of multiplicity of types
To avoid confusion, all extinguishers installed in any one storey of a building or single occupancy should have the same method of operation and, if intended for the same function, should all be similar in shape, appearance and colour.

6) Electrical Cover
Only non-conductive media, such as powder, carbon dioxide or other clean agent, should be specified for use on electrical equipment.

7) Fire Ratings
Section 5.2 of BS 5306, Directs the Competent Person to consider discharge times and ranges of extinguishers, not just fire rating. Extinguishers to BS5423 (old extinguishers coloured blue, black and cream) must be in a serviceable condition and have a fire rating.

8) Commissioning and maintenance
All extinguishers should be commissioned, inspected, tested and maintained by a competent person in accordance with BS 5306-3.

The correct way to service fire extinguishers from Lancashire Fire Protection

9) Use of powder extinguishers
The discharge of a powder extinguisher within buildings can cause a sudden reduction of visibility and can also impair breathing, which could temporarily jeopardize escape, rescue or other emergency action. For this reason, powder extinguishers should generally not be specified for use indoors, unless mitigated by a health and safety risk assessment.

As one expert put it!

“Discharging one indoors (other than warehouses and similar open indoor spaces) does create problems (have you ever set one off indoors?) with vision and it is very bad for you on inhalation due to the particle size and anyone with respiratory conditions (e.g. asthma) will be very poorly – even the fit and healthy will cough and splutter a bit!
Secondary damage potential is severe – Mono-ammonium Phosphate is acidic and, as part of it’s Class A extinguishing action fuses when hot to form a sticky flux leading to accelerated corrosion in metal and severe damage to sensitive electronics. ABC Powder is prohibited in most countries in air hangers as it affects aluminium so badly that any plane would have to be totally dissembled and checked.”

Why you should not release a powder extinguisher inside a building!


10) Positioning of extinguishers
Extinguishers should be available for immediate use at all times. 

Extinguishers should be located:

  1.  in conspicuous positions on brackets, on floor stands or within cabinets;
  2.  where they will be readily seen by persons following an escape route;
  3. most suitably, near to room exits, corridors, stairways, lobbies and landings;
  4.  in similar positions on each floor, where floors are of similar appearance;

Extinguishers should not be located

  1.  where a potential fire might prevent access to them;
  2.  over or close to heating appliances;
  3.  in concealed positions behind doors, in cupboards or deep recesses;
  4.  where they might cause obstruction to exit routes;
  5.  in positions in rooms or corridors away from exit routes unless they arenecessary to cover a particular hazard;
  6. where they might be damaged, e.g. by hotel-housekeeping trolleys or
    food-chain roll-cages.

A video showing good examples of locating extinguishers

11) Travel Distances
Maximum travel distances from a fire to an extinguisher:

  • Class A – 30 metres (or 60mtr between extinguishers)

Class A fuel

  • Class B – 10 metres (or 20mtr between extinguishers)

Class B fuel

  • Class C – 30 metres (or 60mtr between extinguishers)

Class C fuel

  • Class D – cases by case basis

Class D fuel

  • Class F – 10 metres (or 20mtr between extinguishers)

Class F fuel

  • Electrical equipment fire risk – 10 metres (or 20mtr between extinguishers)

Class electrical

12) Class A Provision
Class A materials are generally present in all premises. The basic scale of extinguisher provision recommends in cases where portable fire extinguishers are the only means of first aid fire defence is at least a minimum of two extinguishers on any floor that offer a combined rating of 26A on each floor.

13) Class F

The coverage required for a class F is calculated from the surface area of liquid risk in square metres. If more than two 75F extinguishers are required a fixed system should be considered.

We do hope this has helped you!

Which part of this blog has helped you?

Was there anything important we missed off?

14) Download your free fire log book here.

free fire log book


photo credit: Fire Protection Online, Elite fire, Wiki Commons