Generally, fire extinguishers must be inspected every six months in Australia. Some fire extinguishers may need extra testing depending on how old they are. It’s important to note that fire extinguishers need to be serviced and inspected by an accredited professional.
There are many regulations and standards for fire safety equipment, such as how far they need to be located from access and egress. The standards are there for a reason though, and following them can help save lives. In this article, we discuss the importance of fire extinguishers, and how often they need an inspection.
Importance of proper maintenance
Regular servicing of fire extinguishers is essential for commercial and residential buildings. In the event of an electrical fire, an extinguisher may be the only way to put it out.
A portable fire extinguisher with poor maintenance could potentially fail, offering no help. Extinguishers need an inspection every six months. During those six months, many things could happen. Here are two listed below:
- Damaged hose: The pressure in a fire extinguisher can escape through tears in the hose, reducing its effectiveness in combating a fire. The hose can become damaged from exposure to the elements or physical contact.
- Empty fire extinguisher: A fire extinguisher should be recharged immediately after use. It is wise to fill the extinguisher, even if only used for several seconds. Those few seconds can make a big difference later on. An extinguisher that isn’t full can potentially increase the risk of leaks.
Regulations on fire extinguisher inspection
Australian Standard AS 1851-2012 relates to the servicing of fire protection equipment.
The standard states that fire extinguishers must be tested every six months. If your fire extinguisher doesn’t have a pressure gauge, then it will need to be weighed. If the fire extinguisher passes a specific date, it will need to go through extra testing.
There are many workplace safety standards related to fire extinguishers as well. You must place fire extinguishers in ideal locations that aren’t too exposed. Depending on the size of your building, you may need several. Australian Standard 2444 has information on portable fire extinguishers and fire blankets.
To find out more about Australian Standards you can visit the Australian Government website.
Additional testing for fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers need to have extra testing and maintenance if they are past 2, 5, or 6 years of age. If you store a fire extinguisher in an exposed area for a long duration, it may become damaged to the point that it needs replacing.
Pressure testing a fire extinguisher is one of the many testing requirements. If the fire extinguisher has too little pressure, it will be ineffective against a fire. It may need to be emptied and inspected to determine the cause of the lack of pressure.
It’s a requirement for the servicing of a fire extinguisher to be done by a trained professional. It can be extremely dangerous dealing with pressurised canisters.
How Glenco can help
Glenco specializes in fire protection services which includes fire extinguisher maintenance. We understand that the regulations on fire safety and fire safety equipment are changing. Glenco has over 30 years of experience in Fire Protection. Our expert team is constantly adapting to suit regulations and standards.
Fires can be devastating to families and businesses. Because of this, Glenco takes your fire safety seriously. We strive to make our products and services the best in the industry. The dangers of fires should not be taken lightly, and your safety is our number one priority.
Glenco can install, maintain, service and replace your fire extinguishers. Anyone who will be in contact with or near the extinguisher should go through training in its use. Being confident in the use of fire safety equipment is a vital part of keeping you safe. Glenco offers fire safety training for those who are interested.
Contact us to find out how we can assist you.