Fire Extinguisher Signs

Fire Extinguisher SignsYou may have the best quality, shiniest fire extinguishers in your business premises, but they will only be effective if your staff can find them when they need them most! Fire safety equipment signs are a vital part of your fire safety provision for your office, factory, warehouse, hotel, shop, or outdoor site.

Fire Safety Signs: What the Law Says

Health and Safety regulations require all owners of premises to use safety signs, quote, “Where there is a significant risk to health and safety that has not been avoided or controlled by the methods required under other relevant law, provided the use of a sign can help reduce the risk.”

All signs also need to conform to the British Standard Code of Practice for safety signs (BS 5499-10:2006)

Seeing Red: Fire Extinguisher Safety Signs

All fire equipment signs feature a red background with white graphics. These familiar red signs indicate where you and your colleagues can find fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment, such as fire hoses or breathing apparatus.

 Fire extinguisher signs often combine vital information for users on one easy-to read sign. For example, a combination sign might include:

  • a red fire equipment sign for an extinguisher at the top
  • a blue information sign detailing the extinguisher type
  • green information symbols indicating the types of fire the extinguisher can be used on

So, your fire extinguisher sign can be a ‘one-stop shop’ of vital information in an emergency. Now you need to ensure everyone can see it!

Fire Safety Sign Placement

Placing your signs in the right places can give you staff vital extra seconds in an emergency. Make sure that every fire extinguisher has an appropriate sign not just at extinguisher level, but at eye level as well. Remember that not everyone is the same height, so eye level for some is sky level for others! Also consider the needs of any disabled members of staff, whose eye-line may be different again.

Always place your fire extinguishers where they can easily be accessed, and their associated fire safety sign can be seen at all times, so don’t site them behind a door or near a coat rack, for example.

If you have new premises or are renovating your old offices, your local Fire Officer or a professional fire risk assessor will be happy to help with advice on correct and effective placement.

Fire Extinguisher Stands and Signs

Despite modern advances in technology, fire extinguishers are still heavy items. Modern office partition walls and old brick walls in older premises may not be robust enough to support the weight of an extinguisher mounted on the wall. A better option is a fire extinguisher stand , which also protects your fire extinguishers from accidental knocks.

These red, grey or cream rigid plastic floor stands give your extinguishers a safe and sturdy home, and protect your carpets too! For external use, tough steel frame Fire Point stands are also available.

Walking Fire Extinguishers: Do They Exist?

From the number of times office fire extinguishers seem to move from their original positions to prop open doors, etc, you might be forgiven for thinking they had legs! Fire extinguisher signs can help you instantly identify any gaps, as some designs feature a “Missing” graphic.

Simply place your extinguisher in front of the graphic, and if the extinguisher is subsequently moved, you’ll see “Missing” in large letters.


  1. Many thanks, as a Lecturer I have been looking for some time to find good images of the latest extinguishers in order to expain their use.

  2. I would like to know the meaning of fire rating, e.g 2A 40 B.E, The number and the letters. Thanx.

  3. The fire rating numbers that you quote are explained in full on this page

    You seem to be quoting USA ratings which would be different to the ones we use in the UK

  4. Jim Hyam says

    I have come across some conflicting information regarding the placing of extinguishers.

    I would like to know – must they be mounted (so that they cannot be moved) or
    is there no law stipulating that this is a must, thus they can be free standing?

  5. Hi Jim

    The “Law” relating to fire extinguishers is a bit non-specific. In effect, any premises that is a place of work or dwelling that is occupied by more than one family (ie, bedsits, letting out rooms, etc) is covered by the nattilly titled Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order.

    To comply with this, you need to have a fire risk assessment and that fire risk assessment must follow standard recommendations which, in the case of positioning fire extinguishers, is British Standard 5306 part 8 (part 3 is the maintenance). In that Standard, extinguishers above 2kg contents (but including the 2kg CO2), must be mounted on a wall with the handle at 1m above the floor. Smaller ones with the handle at 1.5m above the floor.

    As modern buildings (and ancient ones) sometimes aren’t suitable for wall fixing, it it acceptable to place them on a stand or plinth or trolley that is designed for that purpose.

    The point is to create a fixed fire point so that people will always know that they can find fire extinguishers and that is will be very obvious if one has been removed.

  6. The first start to safety is to purchase the most suitable fire extinguisher and its corresponding fire safety sign. This way, you are not only reminded that you have a weapon to use in case there is a fire, you will also be reminded where to get it and how to use it.Lucy

    • Exactly Lucy, Fire Extinguisher Signs are there to help remind people what the fire extinguisher can or cannot be used on, how to use it and where its located.

    • Hi Lucy, Yes it is important for people to be safe in their homes, but I would say that the MOST important thing in a kitchen would be the fire/smoke alarm first and foremost, as well as a fire blanket and a fire extinguisher.
      However, you seem to be a little misled. Automatic fire extinguishers are usually for confided areas, like the engine room of a boat or a server room in a large company, they really are NOT for home use, and as for brands the most internationally recognised fire extinguisher is chubb (or its trade name Thomas glover).
      Hope this clarifies things for you.

  7. Hello, this comment is not related to the article – I was wondering whether you might be interested in guest blogging on my Irish site about fire safety? It’s something I am just getting off the ground. I have read some great articles on your site.



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