How Often Should I Service My Fire Extinguishers?
Fire extinguisher servicing is an integral part of making any building safe in case of an emergency and this can be done through a fire safety inspection and servicing equipment. Some inspections can be performed by a responsible individual on-site, but many need to be performed by a qualified technician.
There are several types of fire extinguishing service to get your head around and if you have Co2 extinguishers, this will differ slightly. See how often you should service your fire extinguishers and what each service will involve.
Regular Visual Inspections Of Fire Extinguishers
Your fire extinguishers, like other fire safety equipment, need to be inspected once per month. This is not like a full-service and can be inspected visually to make sure that all parts are still intact and it is in good working order.
These monthly inspections apply to all kinds of extinguishers, whether they are Co2, foam, wet chemical or powder ones. Visual inspections don’t take long, you just need to ensure a responsible person takes a look at the headcap pin, pressure gauge and seal, to ensure they haven’t been tampered with.
You can also make sure that it is still fixed to the bracket on the wall and the instructions are still legible, so someone could operate it in an emergency situation.
Basic Fire Extinguisher Service
A basic service needs to happen once per year which building managers or wonders need to book and arrange under the BS 5036-6 regulation. This service goes into more depth than your monthly inspections and is usually done by a professionally accredited fore technician because a faulty fire extinguisher can cost lives.
During annual inspections, technicians usually replace parts of the fire extinguisher and do a more in-depth check of all its parts. As fire extinguishers get older, changing these parts still makes them reliable in an emergency situation and ready to use.
Extended Fire Extinguisher Service
This occurs every 5 years and goes further than annual and monthly inspections, meaning technicians again will be needed to perform an extended service. All types of extinguishers, such as water or chemical, are serviced in the same way during these kinds of inspections, except for Co2.
Everything in the basic services will be covered and then the technician will discharge the fire extinguisher. They will look at the distance and pattern of the fire suppressant material, to make sure it is up to current standards. This lets you know that your fire extinguisher would perform well and efficiently in a real emergency situation.
How Co2 Fire Extinguishers Are Serviced
Unlike the other kinds of fire extinguishers, Co2 is a different kettle of fish. These extinguishers have much higher pressure and only need to be fully serviced every 10 years, making them preferable for many kinds of businesses.
When the time does come around to service your Co2 extinguisher, which is called an overhaul, it often needs to be sent to be an accredited service centre to be looked over and parts replaced and fixed, if necessary.
What Is Involved in a Fire Extinguisher Service?
A technician will check every part of the fire extinguisher, from the valves to the gauges, to make sure everything is in good working order and not damaged. Extinguishers can also be prone to corrosion, so they will be checked over for this too. Weighting it and seeing if it is within the required, also lets technicians know if there is a fault.
After each of these tasks has been performed, you will be given a certificate of inspection, proving that the fire extinguisher has been serviced and is up to all regulations and standards that need to be adhered to.
When Should You Replace an Old Fire Extinguisher?
Fire extinguishers can be serviced for a good number of years before they aren’t safe to use anymore and wouldn’t pass a fire risk assessment. Over the years, each inspection will replace parts that are faulty or not up-to-scratch and eventually, these parts will be harder to come by with older models.
Either the fire extinguisher fails an inspection with a fault that can’t be repaired, or more often than not, the older models of extinguisher become outdated. This is because the parts older models need will no longer be available or they will be harder to come by and replacing the parts will not be economically viable anymore.
Fire Extinguisher Servicing With UKSM
Here at UKSM, we have a team of highly qualified technicians that will be able to service your fire extinguishers to a high standard. Fire extinguisher servicing needs to be done annually and every 5 years by a professional, to ensure you receive a safety certificate. Servicing your fire safety equipment keeps people safe and ensures each piece of equipment can be used, in case of an emergency.