Over the past few months FTS has been busy, not only have we moved to bigger offices, but we have continued to look at ways in which we can add services to benefit of our customers. Recent additions to our services include the Legionella Risk Assessments and servicing of Restaurant fire suppression systems. We are also looking at the introduction of Medical Equipment testing, hopefully later in 2020.
January has historically been a quiet month, however, this year we have been super busy, providing customers with Portable Appliance testing and Fire Extinguisher servicing, Fire Alarm maintenance and Emergency lighting inspections just to name but a few areas of our work so far this year. To add to our schedule of work, some of our engineers are due for their Fire Extinguisher servicing refresher courses, this has to be completed every 3 years to continue to understand industry advancements and changes in servicing procedures or updates in standards.
Fire Extinguisher Shocking Discoveries
This leads me to one such shocking practice, we are continually attending sites where customers have been paying for an extinguisher service and we can clearly see that the service has not been completed or at least not to the required standard. Some of the common findings are:
- the original transportation seals are still in place which means the unit isn’t ready for use,
- the pressure gauge will have date dots applied on top of the clear original gauge dot, which means that the gauge has NOT been checked and tested
Unfortunately, these are items that a customer would not know that they should have been actioned, after all they are expecting that the fire extinguisher service has been done correctly. The other thing that we see is that the extinguishers have not been installed in the correct place or at the wrong height. I struggle to lift a 14Kg Water extinguisher off the wall when it has been placed at head height, goodness knows what they would do in the event of an emergency!
PAT Testing Shocking Discovery
When it comes to Portable Appliance Testing, some of the items that we fail, not only would give you a shock but gives me grave concerns. Sometimes I wonder if a damaged piece of equipment, which is so badly broken that when plugged in young children could touch the internal parts and get an electric shock, would it still be used if it was in a home environment rather than at work. I hope not! Recently we attended a site that we had previously failed a piece of equipment, clearly indicated with a large RED “DO NOT USE” Label. The label removed and the item was back in use, to make the matter worse we evidence every failure by taking a picture of failing items with the tester and give it to the customer as a part of their report. In this case the responsible person now had an appliance which was failed two years on the trot, placing users in a situation that could have caused injury or worse death. This was again highlighted to the customer and this time the appliance was removed from the area and sent for destruction.
I do struggle to understand why people ignore the advice we give, especially as the consequences are potentially fatal!
Until next time… stay safe