Fire Extinguisher for Taxis – What You Need to Comply with UK Law

There are lots of licensing requirements for taxi operators. One vital area is the safety equipment such as an extinguisher and first aid kit. The recommended fire safety device for taxis is a powder extinguisher. The size will depend on how many passengers a vehicle can carry.

Most passengers have probably never even questioned whether or not they have a fire extinguisher on board. We feel reassured by an up to date MOT, driving licence, and insurance. However, with car fires a daily occurrence, our thoughts should turn to fire safety.

Taxi drivers are responsible for their clients for the duration of the trip. This includes any potential incidents that occur along the way.

Having a car fire extinguisher in the boot of the taxi ensures compliance with UK laws. It can also mean more lives are saved as the correct equipment is to hand should it be required.

The Law on Taxi Safety Equipment

When it comes to the law on taxi safety equipment, you need to consult your local authority guidelines, as rules can vary.

To work legally as a taxi driver, you must carry a fire extinguisher. Your local licensing authority will assist you with further requirements. They will be able to tell you the type and size you need for the service you provide.

Taxi Fire Safety Kits

Taxi Safety Equipment Regulations

The Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1976 gives local councils the authority to decide on the types and capacities of car extinguishers that should be used.

For example, Glasgow City Council requires a fire extinguisher to be installed in order for the taxi license to be granted.

They say: “a fire extinguisher of an approved type (constructed in compliance with BSEN 3-5 1996 and maintained as per BS 50306 part 3 1985) fitted in the vehicle”.

They also require it to be placed in an approved position and fixed in place with an appropriate fastener.

See also:

Vehicles Capable of Carrying More than 9 Passengers

It is a legal requirement for vehicles to carry a fire extinguisher if they can hold 9 or more passengers.

As with other taxi sizes, it is essential to check the requirements of your local licensing authority. Larger taxis will be suited to a 2kg powder fire extinguisher. This type will be able to deal with the types of fire that can happen in or around cars. They also handle fuel and oil fires which can and do happen in car blazes.

You can have your fire safety equipment regularly checked alongside your usual annual work. It is illegal to fail to carry an extinguisher and you can potentially be hit with a hefty fine. You are also expected to have on board an up to date first aid kit.

Which Fire Extinguisher Should Be Kept in a Taxi?

The type and size of fire extinguisher you will need for your taxi will depend on how many passengers your vehicle can hold.

  • For small taxis, you should have a 1kg fire extinguisher. Ideally, this should be a powder extinguisher.
  • For larger taxis, you will need a bigger extinguisher, a 2kg one will suffice. Again, a powder fire extinguisher will be best.

See Also: Different Colour Fire Extinguishers – handy guide on identifying extinguishers via the label colour code system.

Where Should the Extinguisher be Stored?

Car fire extinguishers should ideally be stored safely in the boot of the car. Your local authority may have specific requirements for location.

Ideally, use an extinguisher mount that is suited to the size of extinguisher you have purchased. This will stop the container from rolling around freely and potentially getting damaged. It needs to be out of direct sunlight too.

Another reason for storing them in your boot is so you are forced to get out of your vehicle to reach it. Being out of a burning vehicle should always be your number one priority.

You can purchase brackets and fixings to suit your particular size of fire extinguisher. You can get wall mounts or floor mounts which keep it upright during journeys.

Most types of mounts have a quick release feature which is required during an emergency. It’s important to use a specialised mount to make sure you can quickly access your extinguisher.

First Aid Kits

As well as fire extinguishers being a must in taxis, first aid kits are also a requirement of many licensing authorities.

Again, the size you need will depend largely on the taxi you drive. In the event of an accident, having a first aid kit to hand can be a real help. You will want one that is protected by a strong case which will be tolerant of movement from the vehicle.

Also, if you are travelling to another country, you will need to be aware of their rules too. This goes for privately owned cars as well.

The national standard for first aid kits is BS8599-2:2019. This came into effect in 2019, aimed to provide immediate help for motorists in an emergency. They are a handy size and will not take up much room, meaning you are compliant with UK laws.


What size fire extinguisher do you need for a taxi?

The size required for a taxi will depend on how many people the taxi holds. You can purchase a small, 1kg one for small taxis or a 2kg one for 9 passengers and over.

Where is best to keep a fire extinguisher in taxi cabs?

You will need to secure your extinguisher in the boot of the taxi using a mount and fixings. This keeps it safe and out of harm’s way.

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