In the following paragraphs I would like to introduce the topic of maintaining your extinguishers and the reasons why it’s extremely critical. I’ll also enter into much more detail and present several other items you should consider when it is time for you to service your own extinguishers.
In addition to this I’ll discuss the proper BSI standards and why should you be aware of them. Servicing is not something you’ll want to go cheap with. I hope you will not ever have to use your extinguishers but if/when you do, you ought to be sure they’re safe and sound and ready to use immediately.
Relevant BSI Codes of Practice
Before you even consider employing someone to carry out your extinguisher maintenance, it is advisable to ensure they operate in accordance with British Standard Code of Practice 5306 Section 3 – 09. BS 5306 is the combination of BSIs British Standards relating to fire extinguishing installations and apparatus. Section 3 is the Code of Practice for any commissioning and maintenance of transportable fire extinguishers.
As many people use transportable units, this is the part that’s likely to be the most applicable to your fire extinguisher maintenance needs.
Assessments Made During Maintenance
Selecting someone that works inside the BSI Code of Practice can help you to meet the health and safety requirements within your work place. It’s also great to learn a little bit as to what sort of work needs to be undertaken on your units.
Just about all fire extinguisher variations have to be inspected for pressure, weight and also for any visible warning signs of damages, that include dings or corrosion. Pretty much all components, pipes and hoses really should be checked to ensure that they function correctly and labels need to be checked to make sure that they’re still easily readable. Cartridge based units can even be examined internally by opening them up, but don’t do this yourself.
If the above items are checked at least one time a year your maintenance will have been successful. You’ll be safe in the knowledge that if you should want to use your extinguishers they’re going to be available and in excellent condition.
Other Relevant Things Worth Considering
One thing that’s easily forgotten is the fact that water and foam extinguishers which aren’t within a heated location over the winter can freeze up. These units should contain a low temperature additive to stop them from freezing up.
Co2 extinguishers need traditional servicing for ten years. From then on a hydro-static test should be performed. Following this time period it’s usually a good plan to replace the extinguisher for a brand new one. As your units get older there approaches a point where it’s more safe and economical to switch them completely for brand new ones.
Bear in mind your unwanted fire extinguishers can usually be recycled as well. Talk to your regional authority or your fire extinguisher servicing company for information regarding recycling your unwanted units.