Fire Extinguisher Service Maintenance In The Workplace
Why is fire extinguisher service maintenance necessary? Primarily, such fire safety equipment in the workplace needs to be fully-functional when needed, that’s why it should be checked and serviced regularly.
Another crucial thing about maintaining fire extinguishers in offices to be in good condition is that if they are corroded or damaged, they could burst- basically because they are pressurized vessels. When this happens, injuries or even death may ensue.
As stated in the Regulatory Fire Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005, fire fighting equipment in the workplace “must be subject to a suitable system of maintenance, and are maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order, and in good repair.”
Two types of fire extinguisher maintenance procedures are implemented in the workplace. One is through the user’s visual inspection, and maintenance performed by a competent individual.
Maintenance Intervals For Fire Extinguishers
How often should fire extinguishers be checked and maintained? Normally, it has to be more than once during a 12-month period, especially if certain damages or drop in pressure is identified during the monthly visual inspection.
If the extinguisher equipment is water and water-based, the monthly inspection should be monthly, and the basic service should be carried out annually. Extended service is every 5 years. For the powder fire extinguisher type, the same duration and intervals are recommended.
What about the powder-primary sealed and the CO2 extinguisher types? Visual inspection ought to be monthly, basic service should be annually, and both their extended service is 10 years.
How Is A Basic Visual Inspection Performed?
Doing an efficient and basic visual fire extinguisher inspection needs having someone in-charge documenting or recording the procedure and the outcomes. Carried out on a monthly basis, this process covers:
- Where the equipment is located. It should be in the right place.
- How visible is the extinguisher? It’s positioning should be in a way wherein it is easily seen.
- Are the operating instructions clear and visible? They should be facing outwards, easy to read and not covered by dust or any other elements.
- How is the condition of the extinguisher equipment? Has it already been used, or is there apparent damage? Are some of the parts missing?
- How is the pressure of the fire safety equipment? It has to be within safe operating limits.
- Check the seals. Have they been tampered with and are broken?
How Long Is The Extended Servicing
Most fire extinguishers need an extended service every five years. By this, it means that the equipment should be discharged, checked for internal corrosion, and refilled and repressured.
Whereas for CO2 or Carbon Dioxide extinguishers, extended service should be performed every 10 years. The procedure entails a hydrostatic pressure test to ascertain that it complies with pressure vessel and new valve legislation. For the most part, fire extinguisher servicing engineers would provide a “service exchange” or refurbished unit because the process involves onerous requirements. It would be cheaper to instead purchase a new fire extinguisher.
The Maintenance Specialist of Fire Extinguishers
The question is who should carry out the service maintenance of fire extinguishers?
The Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order states that such equipment that is contained in commercial properties, or other similar places in compliance to the law has to be maintained and serviced every 12 months by a competent specialist.
Such a professional should be able to properly check the extinguisher to guarantee that it is in good working condition and will function efficiently in case a fire emergency breaks out. It means that the technician needs to possess the correct tools, experience, and training to be able to perform the service maintenance process thoroughly.
Expiration of Fire Extinguishers
As claimed by many fire extinguisher manufacturers, their products can last for 5 to 15 years if they have received proper care and maintenance throughout their lifetime. Then again, fire extinguishers should not be expected to exist for a lifetime because they should not. This fire safety equipment is intended to protect the safety of people in the workplace, and it ought to be checked and replaced as often as the management can to ensure its optimal functionality. Businesses should comply with this requirement as mandated by law. Fire extinguisher service maintenance should be effective for a lifetime.
You can search online for a fire equipment service maintenance company that offers free quotes for various remedial works that you may require in your business or workplace. Typically, such companies offer a free no-obligation quote with their services if their specialists would find anything that needs re-servicing, or rectification.