7 November 1997

Top storekeepers see red…

CHANGES to fire extinguisher rules have infuriated finalists in a national award for the best agrochemicals storekeeper.

Finalists in the BASIS Nominated Storekeeper of the Year Award were bewildered at the EUs demand for all fire extinguishers to be red, instead of the accustomed red, blue, cream and black according to type.

Fighting fires effectively and safely requires water or dry powder for fires involving paper, wood, textile and fabric, dry powder, foam or CO2 on flammable liquids, and dry powder or CO2 for electrical or flammable gases.

"In the heat of an emergencyit will be less easy to grabthe appropriate extinguisher," reckons BASIS award winner Robert Crozier, who manages AgrEvo UK Crop Protections store at Needham Market, Suffolk.

The new regulations coverall premises with one or more employees and are detailed inthe new Home Office/Scottish Office booklet Fire Precautions at Work ISBN 0-11-341169-3, priced£3.50.

A UK concession allows new extinguishers to have an area of colour coding on labels, and existing fully serviceable extinguishers can be retained until they need replacing.

The BASIS Storekeeper Award is sponsored by the British Agrochemical Association, Envir-onment Agency and UKASTA. Second place went to David Birch, Profarma, Ames-bury, Wilts, while colleague, Malcolm Ferguson-Thomas of Profarma, Sawtry, Huntingdon, was third.

Seeing red about fire extinguishers … Robert Crozier, winner of the 1997 BASIS nominated Storekeeper of the Year Award.