The importance of ensuring Fire Extinguishers remain fit for purpose
Updated: Jun 24, 2022
In the unfortunate event of a fire outbreak at the workplace or site that you look after, the first step to take in most cases (if possible) will be to kill the fire early before it can spread, or grow to become stronger, out of control and extremely dangerous.
Now imagine a scenario where you go to use the designated fire extinguisher onsite and for whatever reason, it does not work. Should that fire cause any serious injury or damage because of this, questions will be asked of the person responsible.
Correctly inspecting your fire extinguishers on a monthly basis, alongside maintaining an annual program of having all systems tested by a professional like ourselves, will prevent the likelihood of any fire extinguishers not being available for use.
It is is also important to note that we advise clients to document both the annual testing from ourselves, as well as their own monthly checkups. If any problems are found by clients, we advise that they contact us as a matter of urgency, as any issues found during inspections should be addressed as soon as possible.
Some things to look out for:
Body of extinguisher - Signs of corrosion, dents or any other kind of damage, could prove extremely dangerous, as there could be a risk of explosion for the extinguisher, putting the safety of the user, or any occupants close to the user at risk. The extinguisher must also clearly display required information on the label, information such as: the correct operation, ratings and refilling info.
Hose - If the hose shows any sign of damage whether it be tearing, fraying or anything else, this will be sure to negatively impact the performance of the extinguisher. This due to the contents of the extinguisher leaking during discharge, therefore not properly reaching the targeted fire.
Temper seal - It should be checked that the temper seal is performing its main 2 purposes of holding the safety pin in place, whilst providing a visual indication that the safety pin has not been removed, clearly showing that the extinguisher could not have been discharged.
The gauge - Sometimes the needle in the gauge will stick due to either being damaged or from moisture. This usually means that the extinguisher may have lost pressure, despite the gauge still showing the needle in the green zone, falsely indicating that there is adequate pressure.