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How many fire extinguishers do I need?

Carrying out a fire risk assessment will determine the type and number of fire extinguishers required.

Fire extinguishers for use on Class A fires, flammable solids such as paper, wood, textiles, are rated on their ability to extinguish test fires. The test rating is clearly displayed on the extinguisher label.

British Standard 5306 has a formula for calculating the number of class A extinguishers needed. As a general rule one 13A extinguisher covers 200 square meters. 

However, the BS 5306-8 2012 update recommends that each storey with a floor area less than or equal to 400m² should have at least 2 extinguishers, with a minimum combined fire rating of 26A.

For any storey with a floor area exceeding 400 m² the A rated  extinguishers should have a combined minimum fire rating of 0.065 x floor area of the storey (in square metres).  In basic terms,  for every additional 200m² you require an extra 13A extinguisher. 

Try our floor space calculator below to work out how many Class A extinguishers you need.

Floor space calculator

Our floor space calculator provides an estimate of the number of fire extinguishers required based on floor space. It does not take into account specific risks that may require specialist fire fighting equipment. It is therefore essential that you carry out a full fire risk assessment to make sure you have sufficient and appropriate fire protection in place.