SIX MONTHLY AND ANNUAL FIRE EXTINGUISHER SERVICING
Regardless of the type, size and classification of fire extinguishers, they all need to be tested, serviced and maintained on regular basis. In Australia, the highest recommended standard for testing or is AS1851. As per the standard, fire extinguishers must be tested and tagged every six months. It is also a recommendation by most of the manufacturers that extinguishers be tested and serviced in routine basis.
Fire extinguisher tagging, Fire Extinguisher inspection, Fire Extinguisher testing and Fire extinguisher servicing are almost synonyms. The basic idea is to make sure that a suitably trained person carried out inspection and ensures that the extinguisher is operational in the event of fire emergency.
In six monthly routines, fire extinguishers will need to be inspected to check the following:
- Extinguishers are in accessible location.
- Anti tamper device is intact.
- The extinguisher is clean and operating instructions are legible
- Service tag is firmly attached to the extinguisher.
- The hose of the extinguisher is secured and shows no sign of cracks.
- Nozzle of extinguisher is firmly attached and is not blocked.
- Pressure gauge is within the operable range. This indicates that the extinguisher is not over charged or discharged.
- Weight of the extinguisher is within the range.
- Location sign is visible in accordance with AS2444 (the design and installation standard).
- The bracket is securely holding the extinguisher.
- For powder extinguisher, need to invert the extinguisher to confirm if the powder is free flowing.
PRESSURE TESTING OF EXTINGUISHERS AND RECHARGING EXTINGUISHERS
As per the Australian Standard, most extinguishers will need to be serviced every five years by discharging all contents, pressure test the cylinders and recharging the extinguishers. This applies to abe dry powder extinguishers (dry chemical extinguishers), water extinguishers, Co2 extinguishers etc. Regarding foam extinguishers, they will need to be recharged every year but pressure testing of cylinder is carried out only once in 5 years.
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