We strongly encourage anyone spotting any breach of practice to either engage with the premises manager or to notify the local fire brigade. Here are some examples and the cost to rectify the issues which have been sent in to Firescout.

Fire Safety Vacuum?

Fire Safety Vacuum?

Danger Score3.2/5

"This vacuum cleaner had been left blocking access to the fire extinguisher. Also the extinguisher wasn't very well sited."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2015-05-22

Posted by:Daniel

Tags:blocked
extinguisher
vacuum

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" " This blockage may only take a few seconds to remove, but every second is vital in the event of a fire. Access to fire extinguishers must never be restricted, and they should be sited in highly visible locations, not hidden in a corner.

Push bar to panic!

Push bar to panic!

Danger Score5.0/5

"I noticed this whilst dining with my family. We didn't stay for dessert..."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2015-05-20

Posted by:Anonymous

Tags:fire exit
chained
panic bar

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" " An emergency exit must be operable at all times. Whilst a tamper seal is acceptable, a padlocked chain is certainly not and must never be left in place when premises are occupied. This could cost lives in an emergency.

Wrong type of evacuation chair

Wrong type of evacuation chair

Danger Score4.0/5

"Spotted this transit chair where there should be an evac one near some stairs."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£300.00

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Spotted:2015-03-04

Posted by:Anonymous

Tags:evacuation
chair
stairs

----------

" " A transit chair will allow you to transport people, but is no more suitable than a standard office chair at descending stairs. Evacuation chairs allow controlled descent of stairs with auto-braking tracks.

Fire extinguisher blocked by hose

Fire extinguisher blocked by hose

Danger Score3.0/5

"Extinguisher was covered by hose which is pretty unsafe."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2014-06-09

Posted by:Andy

Tags:fire extinguishers
fire extinguisher

----------

" " Fire extinguishers should always be accessible easily, so that a fire can be tackled without delay. This hose is wrapped around the extinguisher and in a panic you would struggle to untangle the extinguisher.

Blocked fire exit

Blocked fire exit

Danger Score5.0/5

"I found this while carrying out a fire risk assessment."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2014-05-16

Posted by:AL

Tags:blocked
fire
exit
narrow
escape

----------

" " This restriction of the fire exit width could be very dangerous if people are trying to push through this route in a panic, especially if there is also smoke. It would lead certainly to a fine if the fire brigade should visit.

Cat flap in fire door

Cat flap in fire door

Danger Score4.0/5

"I saw this in an expensive apartment building. Each door to the apartments was a fire door. "

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£200.00

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Spotted:2014-05-15

Posted by:Anonymous

Tags:cat flap
fire door
fire resistant door
smoke

----------

" " Cutting a hole like a cat flap into a fire resistant door renders the fire protection of the door useless. Smoke will be able to come through the cat flap and the plastic will melt when the fire reached the door.

Lost in music

Lost in music

Danger Score4.0/5

"This fire exit sign was surrounded by a number of photographs and signs. It would be difficult to spot in an emergency!"

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2014-01-17

Posted by:Anonymous

----------

" " Fire exit signs should be clearly visible and located at each point of the escape route where the direction changes. In the event of a fire, well displayed signs can quickly guide everyone to safety.

Where on Earth is your safety?

Where on Earth is your safety?

Danger Score5.0/5

"The plug was missing and the exposed wires had been placed directly into the socket. Very dangerous!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£1.00

----------

Spotted:2014-01-09

Posted by:Tom

----------

" " Exposed electrical wiring creates both a risk of shock and a fire hazard. Wires should be correctly connected to a plug and the extension lead should be positioned carefully to prevent damage to the cable.

A step down in fire safety

A step down in fire safety

Danger Score4.5/5

"This escape staircase is very slippery...not ideal for an emergency exit."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£380.00

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Spotted:2014-01-08

Posted by:Sarah

----------

" " Fire escape routes and exits should provide a quick and safe way of evacuating the building. A slippery staircase can be particularly hazardous when people are rushing to escape in an emergency. Clean fire escape stairs regularly and apply a slip-resistant material to steps to improve grip in wet conditions.

Do you come from a land down under?

Do you come from a land down under?

Danger Score2.3/5

"I found this extinguisher on the floor... but couldn't put it on the bracket because it had been fastened upside down!"

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-08-16

Posted by:Sheila

----------

" " As with all fire safety equipment, it is important to make sure installation and maintenance are carried out properly. Always consult the instructions and if needs be, the guidance of your fire safety officer or manufacturer. In this case the extinguisher would have easily been knocked and damaged or moved from its location as recorded in the fire safety log book, making raising the level of risk, especially in emergencies.

Reset my fire!

Reset my fire!

Danger Score3.9/5

"The fire panel showed that the alarm had already souned."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2013-06-11

Posted by:Surina

----------

" " When an alarm sounds, especially when customers or clients are present, it can be tempting to hit the hush button on a fire alarm panel and then forget about it. But if you want the system to continue working as it should, you should always make sure it is reset.

Cover me... I'm staying in

Cover me... I'm staying in

Danger Score4.6/5

"We saved some money by doing our own painting, but didn't realise we weren't supposed to paint the sprinkler heads."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£150.00

----------

Spotted:2013-06-07

Posted by:Carmen

----------

" " Sprinkler heads have valves inside them that break when they reach a certain temperature. When coated in paint, this can interfere with the valves or even stop them breaking altogether. They can't be repaired or cleaned either and must be replaced completely, so it's important to protect them from paint when decorating.

Fire safety isn't childs play

Fire safety isn't childs play

Danger Score3.1/5

"At first glance, this could have been a childs toy!"

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-06-01

Posted by:Dennis

----------

" " While an extinguisher and other fire safety equipment can be in its correct location as specified in your fire safety logbook, hiding them away or mixing them with other items can still cause confusion in the case of emergency. In some environments the equipment could also be tampered with or damaged when other items are close to it.

Painting a sorry picture for fire safety

Painting a sorry picture for fire safety

Danger Score4.2/5

"Where did you say the fire exit is?"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£29.16

----------

Spotted:2013-05-27

Posted by:Dennis

----------

" " Emergency lighting units guide people towards safety in emergencies and evacuations. Obfuscating signage in any way will make this more difficult for people who aren't familiar with the layout of the building, but covering with paint like this will also restrict the light coming through, in case that there is a power outage and people need to escape in low light situations.

A step in the wrong direction

A step in the wrong direction

Danger Score4.4/5

"Among some tools, someone had erected this ladder right in front of the fire exit!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-05-22

Posted by:Terry

----------

" " Not only should you make sure that access to firedoors are clear at all times to escape a fire, but also that when people are evacuating a building they don't need to interfere with any equipment, tools or objects that could cause them further harm. It's good to have a place for everything and make sure that all staff and visiting contractors are aware of them.

There's a hole in my pocket

There's a hole in my pocket

Danger Score4.2/5

"This hole was discovered where a small pocket of air would rush through."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£250.00

----------

Spotted:2013-05-19

Posted by:Jacob

----------

" " Various sections of the building will be sealed off from one another to help restrict fire and smoke spreading. It only takes a small hole to allow these to pass through and it can also work as a way of providing more oxygen to keep a fire burning for longer. It's important to remember to know what work has been carried out by contractors to make sure fire safety regulations aren't broken.

Mental block

Mental block

Danger Score4.8/5

"I'm no expert but I'm sure these doors should be clear, shouldn't they?"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-05-14

Posted by:Hannah

----------

" " In emergencies, evacuees will promptly make their way to the nearest fire exit. If this is blocked or inaccessible it will cause confusion and possibly cause an acident in itself. The last thing you want is people trying to find an alternative exit or having to bring people back in to the building to help the injured, so keep the area clear at all times.

No sign of fire safety

No sign of fire safety

Danger Score4.1/5

"I only just noticed this extinguisher here this morning. Not even sure if it should be here?"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£34.00

----------

Spotted:2013-05-12

Posted by:Laura

----------

" " A fire survey will let you know where your extinguishers should be positioned and what type they should be. You should have them mounted or on a base, with the correct signage. It must be obvious as to where the extinguisher should permanently reside so it's easy to maintain and to find in case of emergency.

Sitting duck

Sitting duck

Danger Score3.1/5

"These exposed wires were left under my desk - my chair is looking a bit worse for wear too!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£65.00

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Spotted:2013-05-05

Posted by:Dwayne

----------

" " Exposed electrical cables are both a trip hazard and a fire hazard, tempting spillages and damage to the wires. Also, when the foam of a chair is exposed, there's a chance that the fire proofing will have no effect, making it more dangerous in the event of a fire.

Seal the light of day

Seal the light of day

Danger Score4.4/5

"I noticed our firedoors had gaps between them - isn't that as good as them being open?!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£18.99

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Spotted:2013-04-30

Posted by:Daz

----------

" " Firedoors help stop the spread of fire through a building. Having gaps between doors or between a door and the frame will increase the amount of oxygen, and ultimately flames, that can pass through to the next area of the building. Seals can help to prevent this, and will stop both the fire and smoke and can usually be fitted with minimal fuss.

Too many extinguishers will spoil the broth

Too many extinguishers will spoil the broth

Danger Score4.6/5

"The fire exit was block by no other than... fire products!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2013-04-25

Posted by:Jane

----------

" " Fire exits should be clear and accessible at all times. In the event of an emergency, such as a fire breaking out, there's a good chance people will want to quickly evacuate the area. Blocking fire exits with anything is bad enough, but by putting extinguishers there they are not properly wall mounted or placed on a holder, meaning they are not in the location that trained staff or fire officers would expect them to be if they had to use them.

Somebody screwed up

Somebody screwed up

Danger Score4.4/5

"These firedoors were held open by a workman with his screwdrivers!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£198.00

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Spotted:2013-04-22

Posted by:Richard

----------

" " It's inevitable that sometimes a firedoor will need to be held open, especially when work is being carried out in the area. But it's your responsibility that everyone complies with fire safety regulations in your building, even contract workers. Screwdrivers might not be as bad as moving fire extinguishers to hold a door open, but there must be a retainer with a release mechanism in place. Screwdrivers will also make it very hard to close the door quickly if they get stuck, allowing a fire to spread quickly.

No time to hang around

No time to hang around

Danger Score3.6/5

"I found this random fire extinguisher near my door..."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-04-11

Posted by:Sarah

----------

" " It's vital that fire extinguishers are hung on their hooks or placed in their stands correctly so that in the event of a fire breaking out they can be located and used quickly. It will also reduce the chances of the extinguishers being tampered with or accidentally damaged.

Fire safety hits rock bottom

Fire safety hits rock bottom

Danger Score4.2/5

"The warning had been ignored... this fire door was being held open by no less than a lump of granite!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£99.00

----------

Spotted:2013-04-01

Posted by:Shane

----------

" " It's usually a fire extinguisher that's used to incorrectly hold open firedoors, but in this case it was a large rock. But regardless, firedoors should only ever be held open by a device that has a proper release mechanism, such as the Dorgard retainer.

J hook, line and sinker

J hook, line and sinker

Danger Score4.4/5

"This extinguisher was placed against the wall with its hook still strapped to the handle with an elastic band."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£5.00

----------

Spotted:2013-03-22

Posted by:Walter

----------

" " There is a good reason to commission fire extinguishers. For those that do not know, the silver object under the squeeze handle is a J hook to hang the new extinguisher on, with it still being in the way, even if you remove the safety pin you can not operate the squeeze handle.

A door left open to fire risk

A door left open to fire risk

Danger Score5.0/5

"I spotted this fire door being held open with an extinguisher... the sign was blatantly ignored!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£99.00

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Spotted:2013-03-18

Posted by:Ian

----------

" " Firedoors must be kept closed at all times, unless you have a proper fire door retainer that will close the door for you when an alarm sound. Not only are you creating a hazard with the fire door, allowing fire to spread quickly through a building, but you are also moving an extinguisher from its proper position.

Buzzer muted, the most pressed button

Buzzer muted, the most pressed button

Danger Score4.1/5

"This panel was muted, then forgotten about!"

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2013-02-26

Posted by:Terri

----------

" " Many systems have a mute or hush button to silence a sounding alarm, but it's important that this is only used as a way to stop the noise while both the cause is being investigated and remedied and the panel reset. Leaving a panel in a hushed state could cause further alerts to be missed.

With a lack of power comes a lack of responsibility

With a lack of power comes a lack of responsibility

Danger Score4.6/5

"Someone had removed that battery and not replaced it. At least it was obvious they had done it!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£5.00

----------

Spotted:2012-11-06

Posted by:Jeff

----------

" " When smoke, carbon monoxide or heat alarms sound, there is a reason. If there is no fire or smoke setting it off, then it may need replacing or the battery changing. It's important you never leave the alarm unusable as they are often your first alert to a fire, especially while you sleep.

Silence is golden - but not safe

Silence is golden - but not safe

Danger Score3.9/5

"The fire alarm panel had been silenced, but not reset. Red lights were still showing."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-30

Posted by:Jeff

----------

" " All fire safety devices should be used as the instructions and regulations state. A common problem in fire safety is not the lack of equipment, but the misuse of them. Be strict when it comes to maintaining, servicing and using all of them.

Retail outlet doesn't take stock of blocked fire exits

Retail outlet doesn't take stock of blocked fire exits

Danger Score3.9/5

"Several fire extis were blocked with the owner stating items were in transit. He will still be prosecuted under the Fire Safety Order for a serious breach like this."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£200.00

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Spotted:2012-10-22

Posted by:Anonymous

----------

" " As businesses grow, space can become limited, sometimes leading in fire safety being neglected. Fire exits should always be easily accessible with clear walkways and doorways that aren't blocked or locked.

Care not taken to replace loft hatch in home for the elderly

Care not taken to replace loft hatch in home for the elderly

Danger Score3.6/5

"I noticed that the fire resistant loft hatch was not replaced in a plant room in a care home for the elderly."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£0.00

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Spotted:2012-10-20

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " As with fire doors, fire resisting loft hatches should always be placed back in their original position after use. They are there to stop fire spreading to new locations. When a fire can escape through to the roof, the fire and smoke can quickly spread throughout the building, causing life threatening danger to occupants.

Fire safety not a fan of missing extractors

Fire safety not a fan of missing extractors

Danger Score3.1/5

"The filters to stop grease and fat in the ducting had been removed from the kitchen hood extract."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£100.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-17

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Keeping any device maintained, fire safety specific or otherwise, is crucial to avoid accidents and fire hazards. The build of residues inside vents, such as grease and dust, combined with heat, can cause serious, life-threatening fires. Service should be carried out on these devices, and they shouldn't be used again until they are back in their full working state.

Blocked exit uncovers fire safety childsplay

Blocked exit uncovers fire safety childsplay

Danger Score2.3/5

"The fire exit was blocked by numerous pushchairs and the fire extinguisher was found to be empty and not on the wall hook"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£60.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-16

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " When escape routes are often used to store items, an alternative storage area should be provided. Fire extinguishers should be placed in the location they appear in your fire safety logbook and serviced regularly to make sure they are usable.

Poorly stored items in health facility

Poorly stored items in health facility

Danger Score3.7/5

"These items were being stored on a staircase via a fire escape route, and what's more there was evidence of smokers using the area."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£30.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-13

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Fire escape routes should be kept clear at all times, especially when it comes to combustible items, to minimize hazards to evacuees and to minimize the spread of fire. If there is evidence of smokers using an area they shouldn't, you can consider installing a cigarette smoke detector also.

Shower cap causes dirty fire safety

Shower cap causes dirty fire safety

Danger Score4.5/5

"I discovered that builders had left the dust cover on the smoke alarm after carrying out work 6 months previously."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-09

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Dust covers can be handy while maintenance and building work is being carried out that can cause dust and trigger or clog the alarm sesnsors, but these should be removed immediately when the work is finished. Regular smoke alarm tests should also be carried out by an appointed member of staff.

Fire safety swept under the carpet at care home

Fire safety swept under the carpet at care home

Danger Score4.1/5

"After smelling tobacco smoke I found that residents had used a gap in the floor covering as an ashtray!"

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£25.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-07

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Unextinguished cigarette butts are a common cause of fiires. Even with fire retardant surfaces, over time the risk is increased when continually exposed to heat. If you suspect people are smoking in unofficial smoke areas, consider installing a cigarette smoke detector and applicable signage.

Adapting to a safer means of power

Adapting to a safer means of power

Danger Score3.9/5

"This extension lead exposed 3 multi-plug adaptors, each filled with plugs and more adaptors and plenty of flex, all insulated by the storage of excess files."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£50.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-06

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Chaining multiplug adaptors is a risk in itself, but placing objects over them will heat them up and increase the risk of a fire. If these items are easily combustible, the fire will spread very quickly in to the rest of the office. Always try to use a mains socket or a UPS where necessary, and keep the area tidy.

Gladiators ready... the fire escape route gauntlet

Gladiators ready... the fire escape route gauntlet

Danger Score3.5/5

"Excessive storage of combustible items in a support area of a large office building, showing it is only just passable."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2012-10-01

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Sometimes items are left in corridoors for convenience during day-to-day work, but this can be hazardous if it is used as a fire escape route. What's more, combustible items will spread the fire rapidly and endanger people trying to use the route.

Network installation of a big hole increases risk of fire spreading

Network installation of a big hole increases risk of fire spreading

Danger Score4.1/5

"Lazy IT workers installing optic firbe cables cut a hole in a wall to reduce ladder usage. But the fire in the room below could have destroyed whole roof, putting beridden clients below at serious risk."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£250.00

----------

Spotted:2012-09-29

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " It is important to control contractors during works and inspect the finished product prior to payment being made. Fires are made worse when they are given the space to spread and not limited with compartmentation, so when building work is taken out be sure that new hazards aren't introduced.

Combustible items increase risk in rubbish escape route

Combustible items increase risk in rubbish escape route

Danger Score3.6/5

"This pile of rubbish was holding a fire door open on the main escape route."

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2012-09-27

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Fire doors shouldn't be held open unless it's by a fire door retainer. Escape routes should be clear and free from trip hazards. Combustible items further increase the risk of spreading fire throughout the building.

Fire door self-closer opens up new hazards

Fire door self-closer opens up new hazards

Danger Score4.2/5

"These fired doors are supposed to be always closed, but someone had disconnected the door stopper!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£15.00

----------

Spotted:2012-09-26

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Sometimes fire safety devices can seem inconvenient and get in the way. But not only can it be illegal to put them out of action, it can be highly dangerous. If a fire door needs holding open, it can be done so legally with a fire door retainer, which self-closes when smoke alarms sound.

Fire escape in plant room blocked by cleaning materials

Fire escape in plant room blocked by cleaning materials

Danger Score5.0/5

"Nobody seems to have told the cleaners that using this fire escape as a cupboard is highly risky!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£0.00

----------

Spotted:2012-09-19

Posted by:Messy

----------

" " Not only is it vital to have a pre-determined fire evacuation plan, but all fire exits should be kept clear too. Blocking entrances can cause trip hazards and block the flow of evacuees leaving via that route.

Dentist pulls out teeth but not all the fire safety stops

Dentist pulls out teeth but not all the fire safety stops

Danger Score3.6/5

"I'm no expert but there was a sign on the door saying it must be kept closed?"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£99.00

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Spotted:2012-09-10

Posted by:Garry

----------

" " Fire doors help to contain fire and smoke if there is fire in a building. To function properly, they need to be able to close automatically in case of a fire or need to be kept close in the first place. Wedging fire doors open is dangerous, as the smoke and fire will now spread unhindered. If you want to keep fire doors open for air circulation or easy of movement you need to use fire door retainers.

Smoke alarm used as art exhibit

Smoke alarm used as art exhibit

Danger Score4.1/5

"I thought it was a bit strange... I've never seen a smoke alarm on a wall before."

Possible fine?No

Cost to remedy?£5.00

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Spotted:2012-09-02

Posted by:Harry

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" " The smoke alarm on this picture is at head height. Should there be a fire it would take a long time for the smoke to reach this level, as the smoke first accumulates on the ceiling and then fills the room as it travels downwards. Valuable escape time would be lost because of this, so always try to fit smoke alarms on the ceiling.

Fire extinguisher moonlighting as door stopper?

Fire extinguisher moonlighting as door stopper?

Danger Score5.0/5

"It seemed ironic that the fire hazard was being caused by a fire safety device!"

Possible fine?Yes

Cost to remedy?£99.00

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Spotted:2012-08-20

Posted by:Sean

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" " Always make sure that fire doors are either closed or kept open in a way that ensures that the door closes automatically if there is a fire. Fire door retainers are the answers. By mis-using an extinguisher as a fire door holder, you also have removed an important fire fighting piece of equipment from its normal place, which could lead to problems when you try to find the extinguisher in a rush.