“Prevention” is always the first and most important aspect when it comes to fire safety. And at times of actual danger, our next line of defence would be knowledge – being well-informed marks the difference between life and death. The first step to putting that knowledge into proper practise is by following Queensland’s Fire Safety Regulations.
As business owners, landlords, and homeowners, it is our responsibility to look after the safety of our occupants, visitors and families. We should make sure that these establishments and homes are properly fitted with fire safety equipment such as fire extinguishers, since they’re our first line of defence against fire hazards.
But going back to the question, how often should we have our fire extinguishers checked? Ideally, we’d want it to be inspected at least every six months for most homes. And depending on the location or how the occupant has used it in the past few months, it might need to be replaced more frequently. In general, these fire extinguishers should then be serviced at least once a year, by an accredited service technician with all the proper tools and experience.
We do not want this important maintenance procedure to be compromised, as it may endanger lives during actual times of crisis so it is important that we only contact qualified personnel, which we will be outlining below, about what happens during a proper fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance process.
INSPECTION AND MAINTENANCE PROCESS
The inspection and maintenance process are divided into three stages – Inspection, maintenance, and testing, and all of the stages require appropriate working qualifications and proper documentation for recording purposes.
With that being said, every home should have at least one fire extinguisher, which would need to be serviced and inspected regularly by qualified personnel, aside from following fire safety guidelines and putting them into practise. Now consider looking for the appropriate type of fire extinguisher for your home or establishment needs.
WHERE ELSE ARE LITHIUM ION BATTERIES USED THAT COULD POSE A THREAT TO BUILDINGS?
Inspection is the easiest and first part of the process. An inspection is required to determine if the latter stages are required. An inspection should involve the following steps:
Records of the inspections should be maintained by either putting a tag or label on the extinguisher or by having it recorded on paper or electronic files. The following data are needed to be recorded and should be kept for at least a year:
Following the inspection would be the maintenance procedures. The process should include the procedures detailed in the manufacturer’s service manual, and once again, only by qualified personnel with proper certification and knowledge of the AS/NZS 1841.1:2007 Standards.
A thorough examination of the fire extinguisher’s functionality and elements should conclude the external maintenance process. The following are what should be inspected and serviced during the external maintenance process:
External maintenance procedures should be conducted on a yearly basis, at the time of hydrostatic test, or when specifically indicated by an inspection discrepancy. Extinguishers need to have an internal examination conducted between 1 to 6-year intervals depending on the type of extinguisher.
Data such as the following should also be recorded and kept for at least year as part of the maintenance procedures:
A verification-of-service collar should then be placed on the fire extinguisher after the procedure which should contain the following information:
To conclude the maintenance, the final step which is the testing process will then be conducted. This test involves a hydrostatic test which would determine if there was any leakage on the fire extinguisher, and a pressure test. If any of the fire extinguisher’s external parts such as couplings are wobbling and moving when it should not, accompanied by any leakage, which are clear indicators that it failed the testing process, the fire extinguisher should be disposed of and replaced accordingly. The frequency of the testing process varies between fire extinguisher types as well and could be anywhere between 5 to 12 years. For the documentation and verification of the testing process, the following data must be recorded as well:
Tester identification numbers and the date must be stamped onto the shoulder, top, head, neck or foot ring of the fire extinguishers as well.
For more detailed maintenance information, or if you would like to schedule an appointment with our fire safety experts you may reach out to us anytime through our 24-hour service hotline or by sending us an email. Lastly, we also recommend checking the different types of fire extinguishers to ensure that you have the right type for the right classification of fire hazard.