Fire extinguishers are an essential part of any Fire Safety plan and are required by law in many commercial premises. With so many different types and sizes of fire extinguisher available, it is important to choose the right one for your needs. All fire extinguishers are now designed in a manner that allows them to be put into action swiftly when needed, but that also protects them from being damaged or accidentally discharged. The British Standard for the performance and characteristics of portable fire extinguishers is BS EN 3-7, something you should be on the lookout for when sourcing your fire extinguishers. Using pressure – either in the unit itself or an internal cartridge – to discharge extinguishing agents, modern extinguishers have a squeeze (or lever) handle that activates the unit (often using a spring mechanism). This squeeze/lever handle is usually attached directly to the valve assembly but is sometimes positioned in line with the extinguisher hose (most commonly in gas cartridge type extinguishers). Fire safety should be taken seriously in all workplaces and homes, and having the right fire extinguisher can make all the difference in an emergency situation.