P50 Fire Extinguishers
Last Updated on 5th August 2020
Are these low-maintenance P50 extinguishers the future for the UK fire extinguisher industry?
These cost-effective virtually service-free fire extinguishers eliminate the need for a 3rd party servicing company to check them every year, reducing your annual maintenance costs dramatically whilst delivering environmental savings.
As opposed to the traditional setup of a Foam/CO2 dual extinguisher point requiring the user to make the correct selection of extinguisher type in the event of a fire. The P50 is a single point extinguisher. They provide excellent all-round firefighting capabilities with the ability to tackle Class A, B, C, and F type fires and also those involving electrical risks up to 1000v at a distance of 1m. This eliminates the need for a human decision and ensures only the correct extinguisher can be selected.
Label Colour and Types
P50 Foam – Cream
P50 Powder – Blue
P50 Chemical – Yellow with a yellow base.
The P50 Foam extinguishers are most suited to extinguishing Class B; liquid fires such as petrol, diesel, or paint and Class A because they can also be used various organic materials including wood, coal, textiles, fabrics, cardboard, and paper.
The P50 Powder will extinguish Class A (carbonaceous) fires, Class B (flammable liquid) fires, and Class C (flammable gas) fires. Suitable for use outdoors or in high-risk areas such as car parks, plant rooms, fuel stores, etc.
The P50 F Class extinguisher has a wet chemical formulation making it suitable for use on Class F fires involving cooking fat fires cooking oils and deep fat fryers. Ideal for commercial and industrial kitchen applications. They can also be used on Class A fires (wood, paper, and fabrics) and Class B fires (flammable liquids).
All of the above extinguishers have passed the EN3 test for use on live electrical equipment up to 1000v at a distance of 1m
How P50 fire extinguishers work:
The extinguishing media of the P50 extinguishers works in the same way as their traditional counterparts.
P50’s do have much higher ratings than their older counterparts, with more than double the A rating at 1,000kv, meaning far fewer extinguishers are needed to cover the same area.
Are They Legal?
Although the extinguishers are fully compliant with BS EN3-7:2004+A1:2007 (Characteristics, performance requirements and test methods), they do not meet BS 5306-3:2017 (Commissioning & Maintenance) and BS 5306-8:2012 (Selection & Positioning).
You will need to provide a justification in your Fire Risk Assessment, explaining why far fewer extinguishers are needed to cover the same area.
Like all extinguishers, the owners must, by law, have a routine to maintain the extinguishers. There is a requirement to monthly check the presence and status of the P50 extinguishers with the findings recorded in the company’s fire safety logbook plus an annual full visual inspection by a representative of the owners e.g. ‘responsible’ person. Also, like all extinguishers, there should be a regular visual walk-past to ensure the extinguisher is present and pressurised.
Although they are becoming more popular and being used in ‘high-profile’ premises you may still have to check with your insurance company to ensure it complies with their requirements.
Are They Worth It?
The initial purchase price will be higher than the traditional steel extinguishers, but it is worth reminding that these could be more cost-effective in the long run as they come with a 10-year guarantee with service and refill after ten years and a 20-year life cycle.
Please note that this article provides basic easy-to-understand guidance of fire safety provisions and the key fire safety information required to comply with legislation. Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. We aim to assist you to understand the fire-related terms within your Fire Risk Assessment. It does not provide detailed technical guidance on all fire safety provisions, and you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.
Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding Fire Safety including the legislation regarding Fire Alarms. Be sure to read our accompanying guides: Guide to Classes of Fire in the UK from A to F, Types of Fire Extinguisher, How Many Fire Extinguishers Do I Need?, Siting of Fire Extinguishers, Chrome Fire Extinguishers AND Fire Alarm System Types, Emergency Lighting, Fire Door Regulations, Fire Safety Signs, also published on this site.
Please take a moment to have a look around our website where you will find related articles and guides to all the services we can provide your business with, from providing Fire Risk Assessments, fire safety training, full advisory service to Articles on Fire Safety Provisions and our Top Fire Safety Tips!