When do my fire extinguishers need servicing?
The service life of a fire extinguisher starts at the date of installation. The requirement is that they should be installed and commissioned by a competent person, then serviced at least annually thereafter.
Site-Survey (inspection) & Quotations
We will visit your premises at a pre-arranged time and conduct a no obligation FREE fire safety survey to ensure that the premises have the required fire safety equipment.
We will look at the hazards that you face and ensure that the relevant quantity and type of fire extinguishers are provided and recommend where they should be positioned. We will offer advice and assistance on any regulations that you may be lacking and help you find a suitable solution.
What’s the difference between a ‘basic service’ and an ‘extended service’?
A Basic service would refer to the annual service, which checks that the extinguisher has not lost more than 10% of the fire fighting media inside since it was installed. This is checked by accurately weighing the extinguisher. If a gauge is fitted then it will be tested to ensure that the needle moves freely and that it shows the correct pressure. The extinguisher will be checked externally for signs of damage or corrosion. Moving parts will be lubricated and any seals and o-rings will be replaced to ensure that should the extinguisher be used, the contents do not leak out of any joints when under pressure.
An Extended Service for ‘low pressure extinguishers’ (Water, Foam, Powder, Wet Chemical), is carried out at 5 years from the installation date (or 6 years from the manufacture date marked on the extinguisher body; whichever is sooner). The extended service on these extinguishers includes the same checks as the basic service but also requires a discharge test to determine proper operation of the extinguisher. At this time, the inside of the extinguisher will be checked for signs of corrosion or any failure of the plastic lining fitted to water or foam based extinguishers. If found suitable for further service, the extinguisher can be refilled and put back into service.
For ‘high pressure extinguishers’ (CO2) there is no extended service at the 5 year point. Due to the high pressures inside CO2 extinguishers (around 800psi at room temperature) they are subject to different regulations and therefore at the 10 year point (from the date marked on the extinguisher) the extinguisher should be overhauled. This would require replacing the main valve, hydraulically testing the cylinder and usually requires repainting also. For these reasons it is not cost effective to overhaul a CO2 fire extinguisher and therefore they are usually replaced with new at the 10 year point.
The Cheapest is not always the best
There is no shortage of fire protection companies. There is also a big difference in the prices charged from company to company. So which company do you choose? The cheapest, aren’t guaranteed to have had the training or the equipment to do the job correctly. The larger companies should have the necessary training in place, but they’ll need to charge you higher prices to cover their overheads. Have you ever thought that your current fire protection company seem to replace your fire extinguishers quite regularly? Most companies pay their engineers a low basic salary then expect them to sell you a high quantity of new equipment in order for them to hit sales targets to earn commission.
Surely the best course of action is to find a company that doesn’t pay its engineers in this way and has the technical ability and training to provide you with a value for money service you can trust. You should always make sure they company you use or the Engineer doin the work is qualified.
So check us out for your fire extinguishers in and around Birmingham