CheckFire’s foam products update

Checkfire has released an update on the possible implications with foam fire extinguishers that contain PFOA and PFOS.

Their statement stated that the foam used in the extinguishers from Commander, CommanderEDGE and Contempo does not contain PFOS or PFOA. They also stated that although these extinguishers do not contain these substances but like all foam extinguishers in the UK, they contain PFHxA.

The European Chemicals Agency has said they are currently considering restrictions to the use of PFHxA. The recommendations to the Agency are likely to be submitted during 2022 and following that there will be a possible transition period in 2024. The timetable for this has not yet been agreed.

6 litre foam fire extinguisher

There are not any restrictions currently in place, and it is unlikely the law will be applied retrospectively. However, with the situation growing we advise the use of Water, Water Additive and Water Mist extinguishers where there is no class B fire risk.

Companies and brands are currently working on trying to develop a fluorine-free alternative (CheckFire included).

Driving in Europe? Which countries require Fire Extinguishers and other safety products?

What safety products do you need when driving in Europe?

Which countries require Fire Extinguishers and other safety products according to their rules and regulations.

Are you thinking about doing any driving in Europe? You might be thinking – “What safety products do you need when driving in Europe?” Here is your guide to what products you need in different countries.

First off, most importantly almost all the other countries in Europe drive on the right hand side of the road. That is a costly one to forget when making the transition from the UK to the rest of Europe. 

First Aid Kit and Fire Extinguisher

car first aid kit and fire extinguisher is required by law in most Nordic, Eastern European, Baltic and Soviet countries.

A vehicle first aid kit and fire extinguisher is not legally required when driving in France, Spain, Italy, Germany and other Central European countries however it is still recommended. 

Choosing the correct fire extinguisher is also important. Here is our Guide to the Best Fire Extinguishers for Cars.

Spare Light Bulbs

You are required to carry spare light bulbs when driving in France, the Czech Republic and some Yugosphere countries.

Reflective Jacket

The majority of European countries require a reflective jacket or vest for either just the driver or every passenger in the car. The notable exception is for driving in the Netherlands and the likes of Albania and Ireland. You are still recommended to have these reflective jackets. Even in countries where they are not required by law. 

Emergency Triangle

Aside from the UK, almost all European countries require the vehicle to be equipped with an emergency triangle to be used in accidents or breakdowns (Some countries such as Spain, Cyprus, Estonia and Bosnia even require 2). Even if the country does not require an emergency triangle by law, it is still recommended to carry one.

European Driving Safety Requirements

CountriesFirst Aid KitFire ExtinguisherSpare Light BulbsReflective JacketEmergency Triangle
Bosnia & HerzegovinaYNNYTwo
Czech RepublicYNYYOne
North MacedoniaYYYYOne
San MarinoYYYYOne
United KingdomNNNNNone
Vatican CityNNNYOne
fire safety regualtions for lorries

Fire Safety Regulation for Lorries/ Trucks

The fire safety regulations for lorries and trucks explain how many extinguishers are required in terms of weight of the vehicle. The table below sets out a summary of the minimum requirements for fire extinguishers depending on weight of the vehicle for HGVs or Lorries. Dry Powder extinguishers are specified because it is known that they are suitable for tackling fires of Class A (solids such as wood, paper or any carbonaceous materials), Class B (fires involving liquids) and Class C (fires involving gases) therefore they are commonly known to be the best fit for a vehicles fire safety needs.

Vehicle (max permissible mass) Minimum dry powder fire extinguisher provision
Up to 3.5 tonne 2kg for cab
plus 2 kg
Over 3.5 tonne and up to 7.5 tonne 2 kg for cab
Total 8 kg (usually one 6 kg but other provision is acceptable as long as there is one 6 kg)
Over 7.5 tonne 2 kg for cab
Total 12 kg (including at least one 6 kg)
Any vehicle carrying dangerous goods under the” small load” limit or carrying only infectious substances One 2 kg only
fire safety regulations for signs

Fire Safety Signs Regulations Summary

The basic fire safety regulations for signs are as follows. According to this legislation, workplaces should follow the below stipulations:

  • All fire safety signs should clearly and effectively mark escape routes and exits
  • Fire doors and escape routes must be clearly marked
  • Signage must be displayed along an exit route
  • All fire safety signs should be illuminated
  • Escape route signs should feature direction arrows
  • Emergency exit signs above fire doors should not have arrows
  • All fire escape route signs should be in picture form
  • Braille and tactile fire safety signage should also be displayed
  • Signage should be visible from a distance and at an appropriate height
  • Employees should be trained in the use of fire extinguishers
  • Employees should be aware of the location fire alarms
  • Employees should be trained in what to do in the event of fire
  • All fire-fighting equipment must be clearly identified

What are the Fire Safety Signs?

Fire safety signs are designed to provide safety information, warnings about hazards, or to give information. Fire safety signs and symbols come in the different colours such as red, green, yellow or blue. In the fire safety regulations for signs it states how signs must be visible. Therefore quite often, fire safety signs are photo-luminescent so that they can be seen in the dark or through smoke.

There are four main categories of fire safety signs:

Fire Action Notice Signs

These signs provide information on what to do in case of fire. They will display the phone number of the fire brigade, what exits to use if there is a fire, where the assembly points are, and any additional information. Fire action notices must be displayed by fire alarms and at final exit doors.

Fire Exit, Fire Door and Fire Assembly Signs

Although some premises that have simple layouts may not require fire exit signs, they are mandatory for complex buildings. Some premises may require directional signs that show the shortest escape routes.

Fire doors must carry a sign that states: ‘Fire door, keep shut’. Some fire doors will require signage that provides instructions on how to open the door.

Fire assembly signs show where employees or inhabitants must gather once they have exited the building. The assembly point should be far enough away from the premises to avoid hazardous debris and ensure that the emergency services personnel can operate without hindrance. Assembly points should be accessible for old, young, or disabled people.

Fire Equipment and Fire Alarm Signs

If a fire breaks out, then employees will need to know what firefighting equipment they should use and where to access it. These signs will usually be affixed to the walls next to fire extinguishers or on the extinguishers stands themselves.

Fire alarm signs must be clearly positioned next to alarms and call-points. They will often have fire action notices next to them to provide information for the person who is raising the alarm.

Warning and Prohibition Signs

Warning signs alert employees to fire hazards on the premises. This can include flammable substances such as gas, chemicals or oil. Prohibition signs are used to stop people from engaging in activities that may heighten fire risks, for example, smoking or using naked flames. Warning and prohibition signs are often grouped together.

What do Blue Signs Mean in Fire Safety?

Blue safety signs contain information on mandatory actions that must be carried out to maintain fire safety. They are circular and feature white text or graphics.

What do Red Signs Mean in Fire Safety?

Red fire safety signs provide information on the location of firefighting equipment, supplementary information, or information on prohibited actions. Prohibition signs are circular with red borders, white backgrounds and black text and graphics. Fire equipment signs are square shaped with red backgrounds featuring white text and graphics.

What do Yellow Signs Mean in Fire Safety?

Yellow fire safety signs are warning signs that provide information on flammable substances in the immediate area. They are usually – although not always – triangular in shape with yellow backgrounds, black borders and black text and graphics.