Over the past few weeks FTS have seen an increase in the number of enquiries for Fire Extinguisher servicing. It does concern me when, out and about, I see things that are not quite right.
Surprising Fire Extinguisher Practices
A week ago I took a few days off and went to stay in a hotel not far from the sea. I guess in my job you never really switch off. My dilemma was simple; right outside my hotel room was a fire extinguisher and the signage was incorrect. The sign was for a foam unit which says it was safe to use on flammable liquids. However, the extinguisher was a water unit, which of course is not safe to use on flammable liquids and could have serious consequences if used in that manner.
Now my initial thought was too speak to the hotel and just give them a heads up. After all, it is clear the fire extinguisher servicing company had not done their job properly. Neither had the person in charge of the hotel’s monthly checks. In my view, that highlights to me there is a need for some additional training for staff so that they are fully aware of the Fire Regulation requirements and the potential dangers of having the wrong signage displayed.
Surprising Fire Extinguisher Practices – Round 2!
The second example that raised the hair on the back of my neck appeared when I was asked to carry out a site inspection to quote for PAT testing. Whilst onsite I noticed the fire extinguishers had not be serviced in a while. I explained to the customer that we could also service his extinguishers but he went a bit defensive at the thought. He explained to me that it was cheaper just to buy new units direct from the internet than get them serviced. I was a little bit surprised at this, as I know there are hidden dangers when buying fire extinguishers direct from the internet. In reality, they can be so much more expensive as the delivered units do not have a commissioning service carried out once in situ and the transportation also raises a few concerns, especially if the courier throws what appears to be another package into the back of the van, without taking due care. Potentially the unit seal could be displaced, and the plastic extrusion or hoses can be damaged.
Thankfully the customer decided it would be a good idea to get the existing fire extinguishers serviced and realised that this made much more economic sense when they saw our quotation. The tale doesn’t end there, when I arrived to service the fire extinguishers I found they were 11 years old and had never been serviced! I’m not sure whether they would even work in an emergency. I explained the problem to the client quoted a price for replacements which included the commissioning of the extinguishers, but unfortunately this client has decided to purchase replacements from the internet as they are cheaper, even though they don’t come with a commission service!! Oh well let’s just hope they never need to use them!
If you want to know more about buying a fire extinguisher from the Internet and the true cost you can download the FIA report from here or if you want more information about fire extinguisher servicing then give us a call.
Until Next Time