We all know how important it is to implement fire safety measures. Fires can be devastating when the correct steps aren’t put into place. There are many fire safety solutions out there, including fire doors and fire-stopping, but fire extinguishers are crucial as they can effectively stop a small fire before it spreads.
It is imperative to ensure your fire extinguisher is in good working order; you can and should complete inspections yourself! This should be done monthly, alongside a yearly inspection carried out by a professional.
What Are the Legal Requirements for Fire Extinguishers?
The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 applies to all non-domestic properties, with only a few exceptions. It states that all extinguishers must be serviced annually by a competent person. This means someone with the relevant BAFE qualifications or equivalent. The responsibility for fire extinguishers lies with whoever is in control of the premises. If the premise is a workspace, the responsibility lies with the employer.
So, you want to make sure your extinguishers are working correctly, but where do you start? Read on to find out.
How to Carry Out a Fire Extinguisher Inspection
Ensure It’s Visible
Firstly, you need to make sure your extinguisher is easy to find. Not only this, but signage is also essential. You should always have clear signage showing exactly where extinguishers are located, so if these aren’t up? Get it sorted.
Check It’s Easily Accessible
So you’ve checked the extinguisher is visible but is it easy to access? Your extinguisher must be easy to grab in an emergency, so make sure nothing is obstructing this.
Ensure It Is Easily Operated
You’ve checked the extinguisher is accessible; now, you need to ensure the instructions are clearly visible and easy to follow. The last thing you want in an emergency is for somebody to struggle working out how to use the extinguisher.
Look for Any Physical Damage
Check that the extinguisher has not been used. Also, look out for any damage; fire extinguishers can be easily damaged if they’ve been bumped or knocked off the wall.
Check the Pressure
Look at the dial, ensure it’s pointing to the green; this means the pressure meets operational standards. After this, lift the extinguisher to check it feels full.
Check the Tamper Seal
The next thing you need to do is check the tamper seal is still on, check that the pin is still tightly in place and that it hasn’t been tampered with.
Track the Inspections
Your extinguisher should have a tag to sign and date when an inspection has occurred; make sure you do this. Also, check the tag to ensure the annual professional service is not out of date.
Things to Look Out For During an Inspection
● Leaking substances
● Signs of Corrosion & Rust
● A broken or wobbly handle
● Missing or broken seals
● Missing Service Labels
● Cracked Hose
● Broken Nozzle
All done, hopefully, your extinguishers are all in perfect working condition, but if not, ensure they are replaced as soon as possible. Not having working extinguishers could have devastating effects, don’t put it off.
Remember that you should also have an annual inspection completed by a professional. A BAFE registered engineer should carry out your inspection. BAFE is an organisation for the fire protection industry that verify the competency of a business. Making sure you use a registered engineer ensures your inspection meets legal requirements and standards.
Now that your fire extinguishers have been inspected and deemed fit for use, you should think of the other fire safety measures in place. If you have any questions regarding fire solutions & maintenance, contact us as we are here to help keep you safe.