Fire extinguisher compulsory - information for tenement and trade
- Are extinguishers compulsory "> In the apartment building
- In the trade
- Glass and rock wool
If you look at the statistics for house fires in Germany, it takes a breath of fresh air: For years it burns in Germany relatively constant 150, 000 - 210, 000 times so that the fire department must move out. The number of deaths is considerably lower at about 500. But even this is still too high a number. The government responds to this enormous amount only seemingly hesitant. In fact, much has been done by the legislature to improve fire safety in the home. Read in this text everything you need to know about the fire protection obligations.
Are extinguishers mandatory?
In the tenement
Obligation in private households: smoke detector yes, fire extinguisher no
The vast majority of the 500 people killed by fire in the house do not suffer a single burn injury. The greatest danger in a home fire is not from flames and heat, but from oxygen deprivation and smoke. In fact, most people die in their sleep without even realizing it. This is due to small smoldering fires that produce a lot of carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide. On the other hand, the government has passed a law that has already proven its effectiveness:
A smoke detector is mandatory for every household and every business. The introduction of the so-called "smoke detector obligation" was left to the Länder. However, all federal states have been "on board" for about 2 years and have introduced the obligatory installation of smoke detectors.
Here you can find out how and where to install a smoke detector: install smoke detectors
Also on the nature of the small warning sirens and how to install them, there are clear guidelines and standards. For example, the instructions "According to Norm 14604" must be affixed to the packaging or the device itself, and the smoke detector must bear the CE mark. The smoke detector must be installed in every living area. Kitchens and bathrooms are excluded, as it can because of the natural vapor formation can quickly lead to false alarms.
Not required but recommended
It can therefore be stated that in Germany no private person is forced to buy a fire extinguisher. That goes for the house as well as for the car. Even for houses with oil heaters there is no obligation since 2009 to install a fire extinguisher at hand.
Nevertheless, it is strongly recommended to deal with the topic even as a private person. This is not done with the purchase of a fire extinguisher. Because as I said - different fires must be combated in different ways, otherwise sometimes threatens a much larger disaster.
Would you like to know how to properly dispose of a fire extinguisher "> Dispose of fire extinguishers
In the trade
Duty in companies: smoke detectors yes, fire extinguishers yes
The installation and annual testing of smoke detectors is also mandatory in companies. In contrast to private households, companies also have the legal obligation to provide a fire extinguisher. It does not matter whether the company is an administrative or production company. The only criterion for the fire extinguisher duty is the question of whether employees are employed. As soon as only one dependent employee permanently resides in the premises of the company, the owner of the company is obligated to this fire protection measure. "Employees" also includes freelancers, 450-euro jobbers or interns. Even if only a few hours a cleaning lady is booked, a suitable means for fire fighting must be available.
Identifying the necessary fire extinguishers in a trade is a tricky business. Instead of talking about concrete "fire extinguishers", DIN EN 3 and the workplace directive ASR A2.2 mention the "extinguishing agent unit" as the basic measure. An "extinguishing agent unit" is an auxiliary quantity with which the number of necessary fire extinguishers can be calculated. Professional fire extinguishers are assigned an extinguishing agent unit. It is shown in the data sheet or printed on the container.
The number of extinguishing agent units is calculated from the size of the company and its fire hazard (fire class). This determined sum of required extinguishing agent units is divided by the extinguishing agent units of the extinguishing agent. A single fire extinguisher can have up to 15 extinguishing agent units (LE). For a simple office with the lowest fire hazard, the following values apply:
- 50 m² work surface = 6 extinguishing agent units = 1 fire extinguisher with LE 10
- 100 m² working surface = 9 extinguishing agent units = 1 fire extinguisher with LE 10
- 200 m² work area = 12 extinguishing agent units = 2 fire extinguishers with LE 10
- 500 m² work surface = 21 extinguishing agent units = 3 fire extinguishers with LE 10
- 1000 m² work surface = 36 extinguishing agent units = 4 fire extinguishers with LE 10
- 2000 m² work surface = 60 extinguishing agent units = 6 fire extinguishers with LE 10
Here you will find a demand calculator that tells you exactly how many fire extinguishing units you need to have in your trade, especially adapted to the existing worktop and fire class: Demand calculator for fire extinguishers
The fire extinguishers must be checked every two years by an expert. These appraisers can also create a "fire protection concept" . He knows exactly where to place the extinguishing agent. Since an entrepreneur can seldom correctly assess his risk of fire, a company fire safety report is the best way to obtain complete legal certainty on this point. The appraiser can then also give tips about the optimal placement of the extinguishing agent. Also, these specialists can show how to easily reduce the risk of fire in the company with simple tricks.
Tip: Place all heat generating devices on a nonflammable surface. Coffee machines, kettles or toasters should therefore be placed on a ceramic tile. If there is a cable fire in the device, the propagation of heat through the tile is stopped.
Various fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are devices with which an emerging fire can be actively stopped from spreading.
Fire extinguishers are called:
- water fire extinguishers
- Fire extinguisher, foam
- Grease fire extinguisher
- carbon dioxide,
- Powder fire extinguisher offered.
The powder fire extinguishers are again in:
- ABC powder fire extinguisher (against burning fire)
- BC powder fire extinguisher (against fire blaze)
- D powder (against metal fire) distinguished.
In addition, there are still design differences. The typical devices are permanent-pressure fire extinguishers or rechargeable-pressure fire extinguishers. With permanent pressure fire extinguishers, the container is permanently under pressure. These are, for example, the small, handy fire extinguishers, which are offered in the form of a spray can. The large, voluminous, red steel bottles with attached hose are usually boost pressure. - Powder extinguishers. They have inside a gas pressure cartridge, which must first be ignited before the extinguishing agent is released.
Knowledge is vital
Fire is not the same fire. The different types of fire extinguishers have as a reason that not every fire can be fought with the same extinguishing agent. A classic example is the water here: If you keep the C-pipe from the fire truck in the chimney in a chimney fire, the whole house explodes. The reason is simple: one liter of water produces 1650 liters of water vapor. The same applies to the deletion of oil or fat in the frying pan. If you approach such a source of fire with water, you quickly find yourself and the whole kitchen in flames.
It is therefore quite understandable that one refrains from a general fire extinguisher obligation. The danger is too great that by the fire extinguisher in hand of laymen can do more harm than good.
In order to understand what can be erased in the right way, a little theory is needed. The fire department divides the different fire types according to "fire classes". For each fire class, she gives recommendations on how to combat them sensibly and with minimal danger to themselves.
Fire class A
Fire class A includes the typical waste paper fire. It includes everything that tends to "glowing". So: charcoal, textiles, upholstery, paper, cardboard, wood, straw. If these substances go uncontrolled on fire, they can be controlled by the following means:
- Fire Blanket
- powder extinguishers
- foam extinguisher
Fire class B
The fire class B includes all combustible liquids such as oil, gasoline, wax, alcohol, acetone, turpentine, lacquer or tar. Here is a principle particularly important: NEVER try to extinguish such fires with water. The water creates a deflagration and spreads the fire very spacious. Suitable extinguishing agents for liquid fires are:
- fire blankets
- carbon dioxide,
- foam extinguisher
- powder extinguishers
But to the carbon dioxide extinguishers must be said that they do not belong in lay hands. They quickly displace the air and release large amounts of CO2. This can quickly lead to a life-threatening situation in enclosed spaces.
Fire class C
The fire class C deals with all fires caused by gases: natural gas, propane, butane or hydrogen. They usually leak and produce a consistently large, standing flame. Fire of this kind is most effectively fought with powder extinguishers.
Fire class D
Even if one may hardly believe it as a layman - even metal can burn. In the household, this is quite rare, but in a chain of unfortunate circumstances, this may well happen. Mostly these are aluminum covers, which can go up in flames even by a Vorbrand. However, what really gets dangerous is when magnesium starts to burn. This metal, which is commonly used in engine construction, burns with a heat of many thousands of degrees. It is therefore considered "not erasable". As a layman you can only bring yourself to safety here. The fire department fights metal fires with special metal fire extinguishers.
Fire class F
The special fire class F gets its name because it handles fires of fats. This is one of the most common fire incidents in a household. It arises when fat is left unattended on the stove for a long time. Here it helps to have a special grease extinguisher at hand. This designed as a small, handy spray can extinguishing costs about 10 € and should not be missing in any kitchen drawer.
The easiest way to extinguish a fat burn in a pan or pan is to put on the lid. The fire stifles immediately. It follows: Throw away all pots and pans immediately, to which you do not have the right lid.
Fire blankets have proved unsuitable for fat burns. They do not close the fire enough from the oxygen supply. In addition, grease fires generate considerable heat which can blow the blanket.
An absolute emergency remedy may be salt or soda. Even having a bucket of sand in the kitchen is helpful in this case. In panic, but to tear up a salt pack and pour over the fat fire, we would not recommend. The danger is too great that in the excitement the salt pack is confused with a flour pack. If you pour flour over a burning frying pan, you trigger an explosion that can bring down the house.
Learn more about fire protection and fire resistance classes in this overview: Fire protection classes
Training creates security
The large number of fire classes, extinguishing agents and other necessary knowledge make it useful to get a basic training in fire protection. The local fire brigades and community colleges usually offer corresponding day classes free of charge. It is important to take advantage of this offer before equipping it with fire extinguishers.
Glass and rock wool
With the "Insulation Offensive", the Federal Government wanted to achieve a drastic reduction in the consumption of fossil fuels for heating homes. How well that worked has yet to show. But what has shown since the fire of the Grenfell Towers in London at the latest is what disservice has been proven in terms of fire safety.
Styrofoam-packed buildings are real fire-traps. This has clearly shown this spectacular and tragic high-rise fire in London the world over. To make matters worse, that flame retardants in thermal insulation boards are no longer permitted. The funds used until 2014 have proven to be carcinogenic. This can also wash out of the plates by rain and reach the groundwater. It is therefore only a matter of time until the facades are exchanged for fireproof variants. Although glass and rock wool do not have optimal insulation values, they are a lot more expensive. But they do not pose a fire hazard. But when it does happen that a façade starts to burn, immediately leave the house in the safest way. Fires on insulated facades spread extremely fast and also generate large amounts of very toxic smoke. A façade fire is really an indication that you can immediately leave everything and leave the house - if necessary, barefoot and in a bathrobe.