When a fire occurs it is only the immediate action of well trained staff that can prevent unnecessary damage or even save a business. However if fire extinguishers are not serviced correctly they may be virtually useless. You can undertake your own quick site audit with just these few tests.
Does your current fire extinguisher setup include:
- Air water fire extinguishers if so, why? There is way too much electrical and electronic equipment in most work environments to risk an employee accidentally using one of these fire extinguishers and getting a fatal electrocution.
- Dry chemical powder fire extinguishers in your office? These fire extinguishers have a high fire knockdown rate but it is extreme ‘overkill’ for an office. Also the powder in these fire extinguishers is extremely corrosive to computer circuit boards and other electronic equipment. On top of all this the powder is extremely messy and can create a huge clean-up bill. People will sell and install these fire extinguishers because they are cheap to buy and provide large profits. Your business continuity should be their major concern.
In relation to the placement of your fire extinguishers:
- Are they installed where they will not be in the way of staff?
- Is the top handle at a maximum height of 1.2 metres to avoid manual handling injuries?
- Is there an identification sign just above the fire extinguisher?
- Is there a location sign at least 2 metres above the fire extinguisher?
- Is the location sign appropriate for the size of the premises? (i.e. the larger the premises the larger the identification sign should be)
In relation to the servicing of your fire equipment:
- Are carbon dioxide fire extinguishers weighed as a part of each service?
- Is the weight of the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher clearly written on the rear of the fire extinguisher?
- Does you service technician turn your dry chemical powder (DCP) fire extinguishers upside down and listen for the powder to drop?
- Is the servicing technician checking the gauge to ensure the arrow is in the green and the hose for any powder residue on DCP’s?
- Are your fire hose reels for a level 1 test pulled out 7 metres and used in jet mode to fill a 10 litre bucket in 30 seconds (proof of water) and for a level 2 test have the full 36 metres pulled out and have the proof of water test undertaken?
At FES Services we:
- Use only highly trained people to service your fire safety equipment
- Undertake a due diligence and fire safety audit every time we enter your premises
- Give you advice based on what you need – NOT what will deliver us the largest profits
- Provide an open, honest, professional, cost effective and ethical service
Call us for a free evaluation of your servicing needs. Remember the person who is providing a ‘cheap as chips’ fee will usually only be charging you what his service is worth. Never allow anybody who just walks in off the street access to your worksite or your fire protection equipment.
Remember to ask for proof of public liability insurance, professional indemnity insurance, a Police security check, client references and industry membership.