Who can Service a Fire Extinguisher?
13th Apr 2018
In a recent blog of ours, we spoke about how often fire extinguishers need to be serviced. It can be surprising just how regularly they need to be checked and serviced. However, they’re a vital piece of equipment in the protection of people and businesses, so neglecting a fire extinguisher’s maintenance could result in a disaster.
The types of fire extinguishers and risks you have in your premises determine how often they need to be serviced, and there are different kinds of service depending on the age of the extinguisher.
Regular inspection is a simple visual check of the extinguisher to check for any damage, tampering, loss of pressure or any other defect that may cause the extinguisher to not function as expected. These inspections are usually to be conducted monthly.
Since they’re not an in-depth service, they can be conducted by a person within the business, such as a Fire Warden. This is someone with the basic knowledge and training to be able to complete the task and record the findings.
The Basic Service is more in-depth than the inspection and requires knowledge, skills and tools which may not be available within your business. The fire extinguisher needs to be serviced annually to British Standard 5036-6.
There is no guidance set out in the Fire Safety Order 2005, besides that it needs to be conducted by a “competent person”. However, it’s highly recommended that this kind of servicing be conducted by someone who is third party accredited. This ensures that the fire extinguisher technician that you are hiring is highly qualified and that you can trust in the extinguisher if the time comes.
It’s a similar story with an extended service, which takes place every 5 years and is even more in-depth than the previous service. The extinguisher is discharged, dismantled and inspected internally and externally for any potential points of failure, then recharged. For CO2 extinguishers, the cycle is 10 years instead of 5. This work can only be carried out safely by a qualified technician.
Because of recent changes to British Standards and environmental requirements, today extinguishers due for the Extended Service are often replaced with a new one instead of the test and recharge.
Who can service a fire extinguisher?
Whilst technically, anyone who’s knowledgeable enough can carry out a fire extinguisher inspection and service, it is the advice of the recognised trade bodies, British Standards and Red Box Fire Control that you seek a third party accredited technician who can do the work safely for you.
In our blog “Does a Fire Extinguisher Technician Need to Be Qualified”, we discuss the different accreditations that you should look for when engaging a fire extinguisher technician or service provider.