Fire Extinguisher servicing and maintenance is an essential part of your workplace health and safety schedule. It is recommended that fire extinguishers are independently tested on an annual basis, however there are tasks that the company “Responsible Person” should be doing between service visits and there are a number of things you should expect to be covered in your annual maintenance appointment. In this article we share our top 8 Things You Need to Know About Fire Extinguisher Maintenance:
8 Things You Need to Know About Fire Extinguisher Maintenance
Trained and Competent Technicians
Always make sure the company servicing your fire extinguishers are fully trained and are up to date. For example, all our technicians have completed the BS5306-3/8 training course. Make sure your supplier is up to date with the latest legislation and training.
Location, Location, Location
When siting your fire extinguishers make sure they are in a central and easily accessible location. They can either be wall-mounted or located on a stand or if the extinguisher is in an environment where it is at risk of tampering (e.g. schools) then consider using a cabinet.
Fit For Purpose
Make sure the extinguisher type is fit of the local environment. For example, avoid placing a water extinguisher near a large bank of electronic devices as using water on electrics will only accelerate the fire. If you are unsure please check our Fire Extinguisher Guide here before purchasing or ask your service provider to check that all extinguishers are of the correct class and sited in the most appropriate locations.
Whilst a visual check is carried out during your annual service, it is vitally important that a periodic visual check is made between times. Check to make sure the tamper seal is still in place and that the unit hasn’t become damaged or dented. If in doubt call us or send a picture of the unit.
It is a sad truth that even in the most safety-conscious work environments, fire extinguishers get moved around (hopefully not used as a doorstop!). Whilst checking that each extinguisher for damage, check that the signage also matches the extinguisher. It could be disastrous if the wrong signage is in place and the unit is used on the wrong type of fire!
Check The Rest
Most businesses will have ancillary fire products like fire blankets, it is worthwhile checking that these are still in situ and that they have not been tampered with or damaged.
Make sure that all of your staff are adequately trained not just on how to use an extinguisher, but also when! A good rule of thumb is if the fire is of the size of a wastepaper basket and you feel it is safe to do so, then use the extinguisher. If in any doubt, raise the alarm, get out and stay out!
After each check, whether that is your annual service or a periodic in-house check, record your findings. In the case of your annual maintenance from your supplier, they should produce a report which will include recommendations. Keep this record with the on-site logbook!
Working With FTS
We hope you found our article: 8 Things You Need to Know About Fire Extinguisher Maintenance useful! At FTS we have a wealth of fire extinguisher maintenance experience and our customers know that if they have any queries between visits, we are on hand to help. This can be anything from giving free advice to supplying extinguisher, accessories and other fire products. If you have any concerns regarding your fire extinguisher, drop us a line at [email protected] or give us a call on 0330 6600264
Until next time… Stay safe