Why is it Important to Maintain a Fire Extinguisher?
As a business owner, it can be easy to forget about your fire extinguishers until it’s time to use them. However, if not properly maintained, you could be putting your employees, visitors and business premises at a serious risk. Since fire extinguishers are your first line of defence when it comes to stopping the spread of a fire, it’s vital that you keep them in working order. As such, in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the importance of fire extinguisher maintenance in greater detail.
Check the tags
On the day your fire extinguishers are delivered to your premises, they must first be commissioned. This simply means that they must be assembled in the correct manner, and a number of checks must be performed on them to ensure they are effective from the day they are purchased.
Once these checks have been completed, a maintenance tag will be attached to the extinguisher, detailing important information about the checks that were completed and the extinguisher itself. These will include:
- The date
- The weight of the extinguisher
- Details of person carrying out the checks
- The next service date
- The extended service date (the date the extinguisher should be actively tested to ensure it functions properly)
Fire extinguisher maintenance and the law
According to the Regulatory Reform Fire Safety Order, where fire extinguishers are required by law and provided, such as commercial premises, they must all be suitably maintained by a “competent” person at least once a year. That is, someone who has the correct tools, training and experience.
When carrying out such maintenance, all activities should be carried out in accordance with the British Standard BS5306-3: 2017, ensuring that all the extinguishers are maintained up to the latest standards.
As well as performing vital maintenance, the competent technician also has to make sure that the equipped fire extinguishers are relevant to the risks associated with the building. For example, in large commercial kitchens, wet chemical extinguishers must be used.
Although the law states that fire extinguishers should be checked annually, we recommend that checks should be completed monthly. These checks should ensure that your extinguishers are all in working order when it comes round to that annual check-up. When performing these checks, look for the following:
- No superficial wear and tear
- The pressure gauge being at the correct level
- Anti-tamper seals haven’t been broken
- No locking pins missing
Cheshire Fire provide high quality fire extinguishers and maintenance services to ensure that your extinguishers stay in full working condition. Our company has many years of experience and a host of accreditations, giving you peace of mind we will carry out any and all work reliably and safely. For fire safety specialists – who also provide risk assessments, alarm systems and fire safety training – look no further than Cheshire Fire. Contact us to find out more about our services across Chester, Warrington and the surrounding areas.