Despite their popularity and wide-spread use, there is still a lot of confusion surrounding chrome/stainless steel extinguishers and whether they conform to legislation and British standards.
In this article we’ll clear up the confusion, filling you in on everything you need to know about chrome fire extinguishers, including their various functions, most popular uses and relevant associated British Standards.
Chrome fire extinguishers are usually manufactured from stainless steel or aluminium. However, once polished and finished, they feature a stunning chrome effect. Because of this they are less prone to corrosion, meaning they’ll last longer in an external environment.
They function in exactly the same way as any other fire extinguisher (ie the red ones) and are just as effective when tackling a fire. All the same types and sizes of chrome extinguisher are available as their red counterparts.
Chrome fire extinguishers are completely legal. The confusion over their legality arises from whether or not they conform to British Standards, specifically BS EN3-7: 2004. Part 16.1 of the Standard states that, in order for a fire extinguisher to be BS EN3 approved, 95% of the body of the fire extinguisher must be red.
So as a result, chrome fire extinguishers fall outside of the scope of BS EN 3 and are not compliant to this standard. However, as we know, BS EN 3 standard is a recommendation, rather than a law, so no law is broken through their use. Chrome extinguishers carry other approvals, so you are not breaking any fire safety regulations by installing them.
It’s more important to make sure that all Chrome fire extinguishers carry a CE mark which ensures full legality. Since 2002 all fire extinguishers which operate under pressure must be manufactured in accordance with the European Pressure Equipment Directive and carry a valid CE mark.
As long as you ensure this, when installing chrome fire extinguishers in your bar, restaurant, hotel or other premises you can rest assured that you are fulfilling your fire safety obligations and conforming to all fire laws and regulations.