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Last edited 29 Sep 2020
BS EN 3
The British Standards Institution (BSI) is the UK National Standards Body (NSB). It publishes standards and provides a range of books, self-assessment tools, conferences and training services. It also represents UK economic and social interests in European and international standards organisations.
BS EN 3 is a standard for portable fire extinguishers. All fire extinguishers manufactured in the UK (and Europe) must comply with this standard, which was originally published in 1996. When it was released, it replaced BS 5423:1987, which was withdrawn in 1997.
This standard was released in several parts. Some of the earlier parts have been withdrawn and replaced by updates.
 Status of each part
- Part 1:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Description, duration of operation, class A and B fire test. Withdrawn and replaced by Part 7.
- Part 2:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Tightness, dielectric test, tamping test, special provisions. Withdrawn and replaced by Part 7.
- Part 3:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Construction, resistance to pressure, mechanical tests. Withdrawn and replaced by Parts 8 and 9.
- Part 4:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Charges, minimum required fire. Withdrawn and replaced by Part 7.
- Part 5:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Specification and supplementary tests. Withdrawn and replaced by Part 7.
- Part 6:1996 Portable fire extinguishers. Provisions for the attestation of conformity of portable fire extinguishers in accordance with BS EN 3 Part 1 to Part 5. Withdrawn and replaced by Part 10.
- Part 7:1996:2004+A1:2007 Portable fire extinguishers. Characteristics, performance requirements and test methods. This also replaces BS 7937:2000, Specification for portable fire extinguishers for use on cooking oil fires (class F), which was withdrawn on 30 April 2008.
- Part 8:2006 Portable fire extinguishers. Additional requirements to BS EN 3-7 for the construction, resistance to pressure and mechanical tests for extinguishers with a maximum allowable pressure equal to or lower than 30 bar.
- Part 9:2006 Portable fire extinguishers. Additional requirements to BS EN 3-7 for pressure resistance of CO2 extinguishers.
- Part 10:2009 Portable fire extinguishers. Provisions for evaluating the conformity of a portable fire extinguisher to BS EN 3-7.
BS EN 3 sets the minimum uniform production - including quality levels - of portable fire extinguishers based on BS EN 3-7. It sets out the documentation requirements for details, including identification of key producers/manufacturers, identification of the extinguisher and related documents, CE markings, toxicology information and so on. It also provides details on testing, assessments and controls put in place during production.
Each part of the standard is available to download from the BSI website.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- British Standards Institution BSI.
- BS 9999: Code of practice for fire safety in the design, management and use of buildings.
- BS EN 13501-1.
- CE marking in the construction industry.
- Fire extinguisher.
- Fire in buildings.
- The role of codes, standards and approvals in delivering fire safety.
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