There are many reasons why fire exit signs and CO2 fire extinguishers are essential to any commercial or residential building.

For starters, if caught without proper safety equipment, your business could be fined and shut down. Regular inspections should prompt business owners to ensure equipment is up to date, whilst regular electrical maintenance should include changing light bulbs inside every exit signs, and other such issues.

Consider that there is a fire in the workplace, and you have not properly maintained the exit signs. Through the smoke, the bright green lights aren’t glowing visible because you haven’t changed the bulbs. Though most of your employees can find their way to safety, a newcomer to the workplace won’t have their own sense of direction to rely on. Even employees familiar with the layout of the building may become disoriented in the commotion. Whilst they try to find a way out, your employees are exposed to smoke for a prologued period of time.

Thanks to you, those employees were in a dangerous situation far longer than necessary. The smoke may have long-term affects on their health, perhaps in the form of lung damage.

All this leaves YOU - the employer - wide open to being sued. Not only would you be liable to pay out huge amounts of money, if your business were to survive the payout, your reputation would be in tatters.

CO2 fire extinguishers are the difference between a small flame and an inferno. With an extinguisher, the threat can quickly be contained before it escalates to life threatening proportions. Don’t forget that even extinguishers need maintenance and must be checked annually by a professional, and monthly by a designated employee.

It is a legal requirement by British Standards Fire equipment maintenance must be carried out by a competent person annually - I.e. someone with a relevant BAFE certification.

As an employer and business owner, the lives of everybody inside your establishment are your sole responsibility. Whether victims of a blaze suffer permanent breathing problems, scars or even death, you will have to live with that fact for the rest of your life. If an employee or even a customer were to die due to your negligence, you could end up in prison.

Although fire exit signs and CO2 fire extinguishers - touch wood - need never be used, should disaster strike they are the difference between life and death. Can you really afford to take that risk, financially or morally?