fire extinguisher servicing
ExtinguishersWhy is fire extinguisher servicing important? You’ve gone to the trouble of having your premises surveyed and you’ve had the right fire extinguishers installed. You may even have gone to the trouble of getting people trained in their safe use (if you haven’t, go and speak to our partner Delyn Safety who can get that sorted for you!). But once those fire extinguishers are installed – what then? It’s easy for them to just become part of the furniture and get overlooked. But it’s essential that you can rely on them if they were ever needed. Anyone who has control or part control of any premises covered by the Fire Safety Order (England and Wales) or the Fire Safety (Scotland) Regulations is responsible for protecting others from the risk of fire. That includes providing the right number of fire extinguishers and ensuring they’re always working properly.  And that’s why they must be maintained regularly and effectively. Fire extinguisher maintenance: monthly checks Your fire extinguisher maintenance schedule should include a monthly inspection.
  • Check that all fire extinguishers are visible and unobstructed with clean, legible operating instructions facing outwards.
  • Look for signs of damage including corrosion or leakage.
  • Ensure locking pins, seals and tamper indicators are in place and undamaged.
  • Check the pressure indicators are in the operable range or position.
Annual fire extinguisher servicing But these checks alone are not sufficient to pick up all potential issues; you also need a full annual service from a competent person. A visit from a fire extinguisher engineer isn’t only about servicing the equipment itself. While the obvious reason for their visit is to check the extinguishers are working properly, they’re actually doing a lot of other vital work too. For example, they’ll be looking at the areas where the extinguishers could potentially be used. Are they still sited where they were originally intended to be? Are they fitted correctly on brackets or stands or have they been ‘rehomed’ as a prop to keep doors open? Are they all grouped together to form a single fire point? In some instances a fire extinguisher might be located where it was originally intended to be – but the building around it or people within it may have changed as new departments have moved in or out and spaces reconfigured. So the engineer will also be checking that the extinguishers are still suitable given the fire risks the new building layout might now present. A good fire extinguisher engineer is also there to give you advice. They’ll make sure everything is as it needs to be for your fire extinguishers to provide maximum protection. That could include advising people about their correct use or the suitability of fire doors or escape routes. They’ll complete the log book and provide certificates of maintenance as evidence that you’ve proper processes in place for fire protection equipment maintenance in case you need to provide proof to insurers or enforcing authorities. Should you use a BAFE registered engineer for your fire extinguisher service? While we’re on the subject of good fire extinguisher engineers, who should you get to do your servicing?  Regular readers of our articles will know how much importance we place on working to the highest industry standards possible so it will not be a surprise to hear how important we believe it is to use a BAFE registered engineer. BAFE is the independent, third party certification registration organisation for the fire protection industry. They independently acknowledge competency of businesses to provide fire protection services and a BAFE registered engineer will have been thoroughly assessed to make sure they meet all the appropriate standards and are fully competent. They will take your fire safety extremely seriously – and using a BAFE registered engineer shows you take fire safety extremely seriously too. It may not be the most exciting investment you make. But when you think about the price you might pay if an extinguisher lets you down at the very moment you need it, having your fire extinguishers serviced annually by a BAFE registered engineer could end up being one of the most cost effective things you do.