As a homeowner, is there a legal requirement on me to equip my home with a fire extinguisher or other equipment?
There is no legal requirement on homeowners to provide fire extinguishers or other fire safety equipment for dwellings in which they reside. However, fire extinguishers and other equipment such as smoke alarms and escape ladders do save lives.
Fire extinguishers can allow you to create a path to safety and to control a small fire until the fire brigade arrives, reducing damage and costs.
I own a residential rental property. Do I need to provide my tenants with fire extinguishers or other equipment?
In Ireland, as a landlord, you have a responsibility for fire safety under the following:
- Section 18, Housing (Misc. Provisions) Act (1992 and 2009)
- Rented Houses regulations (2008 and 2009)
- IS3218 Fire detection and alarm systems for buildings – System design, installation, servicing and maintenance
For a single unit rental property you are required as a minimum to provide:
- One mains-operated smoke alarm OR
- Two 10-year battery-operated smoke alarms
- One fire blanket
While fire extinguishers are not a legal requirement, it is standard practice to provide them. The installation of fire extinguishers may also be a requirement under your insurance and your local fire authority has the power to request you to provide same.
Note: If you are constructing a new dwelling for rental purposes then you would need to consult the Irish Standards IS3218 Section 9: Fire alarm systems in residential buildings.
In the case of multi-unit rental properties, additional compliance is required such as a stand alone fire detection, alarm system and emergency lighting.
How many fire extinguishers do I need?
When determining how many extinguishers you need for a domestic house, consideration should be given to the following:
- Number of floors (we recommend that you have at least one extinguisher per floor)
- High Risk Areas/Activities – consider the use of other rooms in your house apart from the kitchen. Do you have a home office, workshop or garage with lots of electrical equipment? If so, you should consider buying a CO2 Extinguisher.
- Demographic of occupant and capacity of occupant – if occupants are elderly or infirm, it would be advisable to have a number of smaller units which are easier to lift, etc.
Where should I place my extinguisher?
On each floor, in/near kitchens and any other high risk areas.
- keep your fire extinguisher in a easily accessible location and out of reach of children
- do not place over, or too close to, heating appliances
How to choose a fire extinguisher
Select an appropriate extinguisher based on the fire risk. See Fire Classes and Types of Fire Extinguishers
- Look for quality trademarks such as BAFE, Kitemark or LCPB and testing certification such as CE, as inferior extinguishers are often constructed from thinner metal (which can be easily damaged) and may not have undergone safety testing
- Only buy one you can carry
- Consider the space available to store your extinguisher
- Check that your extinguisher is refillable. Refills are generally less expensive than buying a brand new extinguisher