Keeping Your Emergency Fire Equipment Running
Fire systems are designed to protect property and lives. The aftermath of not maintaining your fire systems could result in the systems failing to operate as designed when they are needed most. Maintenance refers not only to the testing and inspection of equipment but also the upkeep and repair of the system when defects are identified.
In Australia, fire extinguishers must be serviced regularly, in accordance AS1851-2012 Section 10. Routine servicing typically involves six monthly inspections, reviewing accessibility to each extinguisher and to check for damage and loss of pressure. A more vigorous service program may be required when equipment is subjected to adverse conditions such as harsh or aggressive factory environments. With fire extinguishers being essential to help extinguish a small fire, it is imperative for life and safety as well as peace-of-mind, that businesses and building owners engage a specialist fire safety company such as Essential Safety Solutions to undertake a periodic fire safety inspection and maintenance program.
Pressure testing of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers are a pressurised cylinder and must be pressure tested every 5 years. Expert testing and maintenance is essential to ensure accurate pressurisation. Over pressurised cylinders can pose a serious OH&S risk to the end user. On the other hand, an extinguisher that is under pressure may not be able to effectively put out a fire from a safe distance, increasing the risk of spread of fire and injury to the user. Under AS1851-2012 fire extinguishers require a pressure test every 5 years to confirm that the fire extinguisher has sufficient hydrostatic pressure.
This vigorous testing criteria is in place to ensure if you ever needed to use the fire extinguisher, it will be effective in putting out a small fire from a safe distance.
Fire extinguishers are required to be recharged when discharged or partially discharged, under pressurised or undercharged. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher, it may be cheaper to simply exchange your used or under pressurised fire extinguisher with a new unit.
In the event of a fire, automatic fire sprinklers are one of the most effective ways to extinguish or contain fire. Fires, unless small in nature, are unlikely to be put out by someone using a handheld fire extinguisher. Unlike fire extinguishers fire sprinklers do not require a person to activate the system. A fire sprinkler system is activated from extreme heat that will cause the heat sensitive component within the fire sprinkler head to release.
It is important that fire sprinklers undergo frequent inspection and testing as per Australian Standard AS 1851, which covers the routine service of fire protection systems, and equipment as a minimum performance standard. It is mandatory under AS1851-2012 to have your automatic fire sprinkler systems tested monthly, six monthly, annual and five-yearly, 10 yearly and 25 yearly.
At ESS our technicians are highly experienced in the requirements for all periodic inspections as outlined in AS1851. Book an inspection of your workplace or building today with the team at Essential Safety Solutions.