Portable Fire Extinguishers
Ensuring portable fire extinguishers can be operated effectively is an essential part of keeping building occupants safe from fire.
Fire extinguisher servicing should be carried out once a year to the standard laid down under BS 5306-3:2017. The service procedure involves thorough checking of the fire extinguisher for corrosion and partial or complete discharge. Reference should be made to the manufacturer's recommendations and instructions for specific information on servicing and recharging. Any fire extinguishers that are deemed unfit for use should be brought to the attention of the user and removed from service.
After installation & commissioning, portable fire extinguishers are subject to four types of service, these being a basic service, extended service, recharge and overhaul. Further details are listed below;
Basic Fire Extinguisher Service
- The basic fire extinguisher service should be performed at least annually to check that;
- The extinguisher should still be safe for use and fit for purpose
- The hazard in the location has not changed
- The extinguisher has not been tampered with or used
- The media and propellant are within allowances; and
- The extinguisher will work if required
Extended Fire Extinguisher Service
- The extended fire extinguisher service should be carried out every 5 or 10 years for primary sealed extinguishers. In addition to carrying out the basic service, the extinguisher should be discharged to check that it will work when operated. This gives opportunity to replace with fresh media. Once the extinguisher has been discharged, the removal of the head assembly allows;
- The interior of the extinguisher to be checked
- Inspection of the internal parts of the valve
- The gauge to be checked when unpressurised. Should read zero pressure
- The gauge to be checked when pressurised to make sure the indicator returns to the green zone
Fire Extinguisher Recharge
- A fire extinguisher recharge service should only be performed whenever an extinguisher has been used/partly used, has been subjected to an extended service or overhall or has been found to have incorrect mass during a basic service. This recharge service restores the extinguisher contents back to the nominal charge stated on the front of the fire extinguisher and returns it to its operational condition.