Ensuring your Fire Extinguishers are ready should you need them
In the event of a fire, fire extinguishers are normally the first thing people will look for to tackle the fire. Fire extinguishers not only prevent fires from spreading but they can also allow a person to safely evacuate an area.
Therefore, ensuring your fire extinguisher operates when needed, is absolutely vital, and the only way to ensure this is regular maintenance and servicing.
Annual Maintenance of your extinguisher in compliance with BS5306 helps to ensure that your extinguisher can be relied upon if needed, and this is where AVA Fire and Security can help.
AVA Fire and Security is a leading provider of fire extinguisher service and maintenance in the UK and our fully trained and qualified engineers carefully and methodically inspect each fire extinguisher to ensure they are in the required working condition.
What types of extinguishers do we service?
We are able to service all types of portable fire extinguishers, from 1kg to 20kg including CO2, Foam, Water (including Water Mist & Water Additive), Powder (Including ABC and Class D) & Wet Chemical. We also service Fire Blankets too!
What is fire extinguisher maintenance?
Fire extinguisher maintenance is important to ensure that your fire extinguishers are in working order and can be used to extinguish a fire quickly and safely. It should be completed in compliance with BS5306, by a third-party accredited business such as ourselves. As a brief overview, we complete the following works on every fire extinguisher in compliance with BS5306:
In short, Yes it is.
For a more detailed answer:
Under the requirements of the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, it is a legal requirement that a maintenance plan is in place for all fire safety equipment, this includes fire extinguishers.
Quote from the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005:
"Section 17 - Maintenance:
(1) Where necessary in order to safeguard the safety or relevant persons the Responsible Person must ensure that the premises and any facilities, equipment and devices provided in respect of the premises under this order.. are subject to a suitable system of maintenance and be maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair."
The word "must" in this section of the legislation means that the requirement to maintain your Fire Extinguishers is obligatory & failure to do so would be a breach of this legislation.
BS5306 is the code of practice for the maintenance & installation of fire extinguishers.
The standard is split into different sections, all of which focus on specific areas and offer guidelines & best methods for completing works with fire extinguishers.
The relevant current parts of the standards are as follows:
BS5306-1:2006 - Code of practice for fire extinguishing installations and equipment on-premises. Hose reels and foam inlets
BS5306-8:2012 - Code of practice for Fire Extinguishing installations and equipment on-premises. Selection and positioning of portable fire extinguishers.
BS5306-9: 2015 - Fire Extinguisher installations and equipment on-premises. Recharging of portable fire extinguishers.
BS5306-3:2017 - Fire extinguishing installations and equipment on-premises. Commissioning and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers. Code of practice
This is a decision for the Fire Risk Assessor and Fire Risk Assessment and the answer varies for each individual property.
Two very similar properties could have different requirements for fire extinguishers based on their internal layout, use (i.e. Office or Storage), the materials in the property, the Fire Evacuation Policy and even the occupant's use of the building. There is no "general rule of thumb" as such when it comes to extinguisher requirements that suit all buildings.
If you are unsure, you should always refer to your Fire Risk Assessment.
We often find that the importance of fire extinguishers can be undervalued and or overlooked. Fire extinguisher maintenance can help to prevent fires from spreading and can also help to save lives in the event of a fire.
If a small fire broke out in your building one of the first reactions is to look for an extinguisher to help either prevent the spread of fire or to help you escape.
The only way you can be confident that your extinguishers will work if needed is regular maintenance (in line with suitable training on their use) and that why servicing is vital.
A unit that has not been maintained regularly could fail to work correctly or not at all. The last place you want to find this out is when you are trying to fight a fire.
Please Note: Unless you are trained in the operation of Fire Extinguisher it is not recommended they are used.
Under the requirements of BS5306-3:2017, fire extinguishers should have a 12-monthly basic service.
In addition to the annual service, extended services should be completed:
Overhauls should be completed:
At the end of the service, a Fire Extinguisher Service Inspection report is provided.
This document details the service works completed, any failures or non-compliances including advising you of any necessary action to ensure your extinguishers are in working order.
AVA Fire and Secuirty, also create an asset register, which details the location, type & test results of each individual extinguisher which is available upon request.
All extinguishers should be subject to a commissioning process on initial installation at the location the unit is being installed.
It is a common misconception that new extinguishers, when purchased from an online store or picked up from a shop, are ready for use.
Commissioning cannot be done prior to the extinguisher being placed in property in the location they are to be used. This must be completed by a competent person, as defined by the British Standard.
After commissioning, the unit should then be serviced on an annual basis.
Contact AVA Fire and Security today at 01633 862177 or via email at email@example.com, and let us help with your extinguisher servicing, AVA can also supply extinguisers and can carry out a full fire risk assesment for your buiness.