Everyone who works in an office or factory will have seen those pieces of equipment that are placed on walls ready for an emergency. Yes, it’s a fire extinguisher and they’re very important pieces of equipment …
Fire Extinguisher Servicing
Did you know they require stringent maintenance to ensure they will work when needed, or are more importantly, safe to use by your staff?
“Fire extinguishers are pressurised vessels that can explode when corroded or damaged and have been known to cause serious injury and even death!”
Here at FTS Safety Solutions we offer a servicing and maintenance solution, but the responsible person needs to ensure that a basic inspection is completed; in most cases monthly:
This inspection should include the following checks:
That each extinguisher is located in the designated place,
That it is unobstructed, visible and its operating instructions face outwards,
That it has operating instructions which are clean and legible,
That it is not obviously damaged,
That the gauge shows that it is still in the green (the operable range),
that the seals and tamper indicators which are not broken or missing.
The current British Standards covers the maintenance of portable fire extinguishers and recommends that “regular visual inspections of all portable fire extinguishers be carried out by the user or user’s representative. The frequency of inspections by the user should be not less than monthly and, when circumstances require, inspections should be carried out more frequently“.
An annual inspection and maintenance of a fire extinguisher should be carried out by a competent person (usually a specialist contractor), twelve months after installation of a new extinguisher and at twelve monthly intervals thereafter.
“This also includes all new fire extinguishers, which should be commissioned by a competent person!”
When FTS Safety Solutions arrive on a client site to carry out the annual service and inspection, we sometimes realise that they have purchased fire extinguishers from the Internet. In most cases, it will probably have been delivered by a van courier and it is therefore not possible to ‘commission’ the unit before it is used. It could be damaged, fully discharged or have lost pressure whilst in transit.
Again, the current British Standard recommends that “the commissioning of an extinguisher should be carried out by a competent person“. Although these are recommendations (and not legal requirements), the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that any equipment (such as fire extinguishers) “should be subject to a suitable system of maintenance and be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair“.
The procedure for commissioning a new fire extinguisher includes the following:
Attach the discharge nozzle (if not already attached),
Check the seals and tamper indicators which are not broken or missing,
Check that the unit is not obviously damaged or showing any signs of corrosion,
Check that the gauge shows that it is still in the green (the operable range),
Weigh the extinguisher and record on the maintenance label.
Until next time …If there is any doubt about the functionality of your fire extinguishers, or you want to arrange regular servicing and maintenance, call us on 0330 6600264 or click here to ping over an email and let’s arrange a free, no obligation visit to your premises.