Fire Extinguisher Servicing: Everything You Need To Know

May 10, 2024

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In the world of fire safety, fire extinguishers are a key component. We must include them in our fire protection strategies. These pieces of kit are often the first line of defence in the event of a fire. Their portability, mixed with swift deployment can save the lives of humans and animals. However, for a fire extinguisher to work sufficiently in the case of a fire, it must be regularly serviced.

Regular servicing of fire extinguishers can often get overlooked or forgotten. However, a small maintenance job can be the difference between your fire safety plan going with or without an incident. So, whether you are a business owner, homeowner or responsible for fire safety in any capacity, understanding fire extinguisher servicing is crucial. 

In this comprehensive guide, you will learn everything you need to know about fire extinguisher servicing. Including how often they should be serviced, why servicing is necessary, who can perform servicing and why replacing existing extinguishers might not always be the best solution.

Do Fire Extinguishers Need Servicing?

The short answer is yes, fire extinguishers do need servicing. While fire extinguishers may appear simple, they are complex devices that require regular maintenance to remain effective. Without proper servicing, fire extinguishers can deteriorate over time, rendering them unreliable or even dangerous in an emergency situation.

Regular servicing helps identify and address any issues before they escalate, ensuring that fire extinguishers are always ready for use. It also extends the lifespan of the extinguisher, saving you money in the long run by avoiding premature replacement.

How Often Should Fire Extinguishers Be Serviced?

The frequency of fire extinguisher servicing is a topic of much debate and confusion. Many factors come into play when determining how often fire extinguishers should be serviced. For instance, many regulatory requirements need to be met, environmental conditions can affect extinguisher life and the specific type of extinguisher can change the period of time. However, as a general rule of thumb, fire extinguishers should undergo professional servicing at least once a year and every fifth year for a more in-depth check.

Who Can Service a Fire Extinguisher?

Servicing fire extinguishers is a job best left to trained professionals. Fire extinguisher servicing requires specialised knowledge and equipment to ensure that the extinguisher is properly maintained and compliant with relevant regulations.

Qualified technicians, such as those certified at OHEAP, are equipped to perform fire extinguisher servicing safely and effectively. These technicians have undergone rigorous training and adhere to industry standards to ensure the highest level of service quality.

OHEAp Fire Extinguisher servicing

OHEAP Fire Extinguisher Servicing

At OHEAP, we understand the importance of fire extinguisher servicing in safeguarding lives and property. As a leading provider of fire protection solutions, we offer comprehensive servicing packages to ensure that your extinguishers are always ready when you need them.

Our team of trained technicians follow industry best practices. We adhere to all relevant regulations to deliver high-quality servicing that meets your needs. Whether you require annual inspections, routine maintenance or emergency repairs, we have the expertise and resources to keep your fire extinguishers in top condition.

With OHEAP’s fire extinguisher servicing, you can have peace of mind knowing that your fire safety equipment is in safe hands. Do not leave your safety to chance. Trust the experts at OHEAP to keep your extinguishers in optimal working condition.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Servicing

Annual servicing ensures that fire extinguishers are in proper working condition and ready to perform when needed. During these routine inspections, trained technicians check for any signs of damage, corrosion or malfunction that could compromise the extinguisher’s effectiveness. They also verify that the extinguisher is properly pressurised and that the seals and safety mechanisms are intact. 

Fire Extinguisher Servicing: Comprehensive Inspection

During annual servicing, trained technicians conduct a thorough inspection of each fire extinguisher to assess its condition. This inspection covers various critical aspects, including external and internal examinations as well as testing the pressure. 

Firstly, technicians visually inspect the exterior of the extinguisher for any signs of damage, corrosion or wear. This includes checking for dents, rust or paint deterioration that could indicate potential issues. Next, the inspection extends to the internal components of the extinguisher, where technicians assess the condition of the extinguishing agent, discharge mechanism and internal pressure. They look for any signs of leakage, clogging or deterioration that could affect the extinguisher’s performance. Furthermore, verifying the pressure level inside the extinguisher is crucial to ensure that it can discharge the extinguishing agent effectively. Technicians use specialised equipment to measure the pressure and confirm that it falls within the recommended range.

Fire Extinguisher Servicing: Maintenance and Repairs

If any issues are identified during the inspection and testing process, technicians perform necessary maintenance or repairs to rectify them. This may include replacement of components, refilling or recharging the fire extinguisher or any necessary cleaning of the appliance. 

Worn or damaged components, such as seals, O-rings or pressure gauges, are replaced to restore the extinguisher’s functionality. If the extinguishing agent has depleted or the pressure is low, technicians refill or recharge the extinguisher to the recommended level. Internal components may require cleaning and lubrication to ensure smooth operation and prevent corrosion.

Fire Extinguisher Servicing Engineer

Compliance Verification, Documentation and Reporting

Annual servicing also serves as an opportunity to verify compliance with relevant regulations and standards. Technicians ensure that the extinguisher meets all applicable requirements regarding type, size, placement and signage. This helps businesses maintain compliance with fire safety regulations and certifications.

Finally, technicians document all findings, inspections and actions taken during the servicing process. Detailed records are maintained for each extinguisher, including its serial number, inspection date and service history. This documentation provides a comprehensive audit trail and helps demonstrate compliance with regulatory requirements.

When Do Fire Extinguishers Require Frequent Servicing?

In addition to annual fire extinguisher servicing, extinguishers may require more frequent inspections depending on their location and usage. For example, in high-risk environments such as industrial facilities or kitchens, fire extinguishers play a vital role in mitigating the potential devastation caused by fires. Due to the heightened risk of fire in these settings, fire extinguishers often face more rigorous conditions and may require more frequent servicing to ensure their reliability. They may need quarterly or monthly inspections to ensure they remain operational.

Frequent Fire Extinguisher Servicing In Industrial Facilities

In industrial settings, fire hazards are all around. These may range from combustible materials to machinery malfunctions. Furthermore, the presence of flammable substances, such as chemicals, fuels or gases, significantly increases the likelihood of fire incidents. As a result, fire extinguishers in industrial facilities must be ready to respond swiftly and effectively in the event of an emergency.

Why Do Fire Extinguishers In Industrial Facilities Require Frequent Servicing?

Fire extinguishers in industrial facilities may receive heavy usage. The demands of a busy production environment can lead to wear and tear on extinguishers, resulting in more frequent inspections to ensure they remain operational. Industrial environments often expose fire extinguishers to harsh conditions, including extreme temperatures, humidity, dust and chemical exposure. These environmental factors can accelerate the deterioration of extinguisher components, compromising their effectiveness over time.

Many industrial facilities are subject to stringent health and safety regulations that mandate regular inspections and servicing of fire protection equipment. Compliance with these regulations is critical not only for safety but also to avoid potential fines or legal liabilities.

Given these factors, fire extinguishers in industrial facilities typically require quarterly or even monthly inspections. This is to maintain peak performance and compliance with regulatory requirements.

Frequent Fire Extinguisher Servicing In Commercial Kitchens

Commercial kitchens present unique fire hazards due to the presence of open flames, hot surfaces and cooking oils. The combination of high temperatures and combustible materials creates a volatile environment where fires can ignite quickly and spread rapidly. 

In commercial kitchens, grease build up on fire extinguishers can become an issue. Cooking oils and fats can accumulate on surfaces, increasing the risk of ignition. Regular servicing helps remove grease build-up and ensures that extinguishers remain free from obstructions that could hinder their effectiveness. 

In a fast-paced kitchen environment, accidental discharge of fire extinguishers is a concern. Regular inspections help identify any issues with extinguisher placement or conditions that could lead to unintentional activation, preventing costly disruptions to kitchen operations. 

Commercial kitchens are prone to fires due to the combination of heat, fuel and oxygen present during cooking activities. Frequent servicing ensures that fire extinguishers are always prepared to tackle small fires before they escalate into larger emergencies. Given the critical role of fire extinguishers in mitigating fire risks in commercial kitchens, it is recommended to conduct monthly inspections to address any potential hazards promptly.

Fire Extinguishers in the Kitchen

5-Year Servicing Requirement

Fire extinguishers are subject to a more comprehensive examination every five years. This five-year servicing is also known as extended fire extinguisher servicing. This involves a detailed inspection and maintenance procedure to ensure the extinguisher’s continued reliability and compliance with regulations.

During the five-year servicing, technicians dismantle the extinguisher to assess its internal components thoroughly. This allows for a closer inspection of parts that may not be readily visible during routine inspections. Technicians check for any signs of corrosion, degradation or wear that could compromise the extinguisher’s performance. They also conduct pressure tests to verify the integrity of the cylinder and ensure it can withstand the pressures associated with firefighting operations.

Don’t Replace Existing Extinguishers

In some cases, there may be a temptation to replace existing fire extinguishers rather than servicing them, especially if they are old or showing signs of wear. However, replacing extinguishers prematurely can be costly and unnecessary.

Many fire extinguishers can be refurbished and restored to like-new condition through professional servicing. Servicing typically involves inspecting and testing all components of the extinguisher. Any worn or damaged parts can be replaced and the extinguishing agent inside can be recharged. This process not only ensures that the extinguisher remains effective but also reduces waste by extending its lifespan.

Additionally, replacing extinguishers without proper justification can lead to unnecessary downtime and disruption to your fire safety. By investing in regular servicing instead of wholesale replacement, you can maintain a reliable inventory of fire extinguishers.

Benefits of Fire Extinguisher Servicing

Refurbishing extinguishers is typically more cost-effective than purchasing new ones, especially for large inventories. Businesses can save significantly on replacement costs by opting for refurbishment and servicing instead. Having the extinguishers serviced reduces waste and minimises the environmental impact associated with manufacturing new units. It promotes a more sustainable approach to fire safety management by extending the lifespan of existing equipment. 

Furthermore, servicing allows businesses to maintain a consistent inventory of fire extinguishers without the disruption of replacing units. This ensures that adequate fire protection remains in place at all times, minimising downtime and enhancing safety preparedness.

Should I Service My Fire Extinguisher?

As explored in this comprehensive guide, fire extinguishers play an important role in safeguarding lives, property and the environment. Their effective deployment can make all the difference in an emergency. 

From annual inspections to five-year servicing requirements, trained technicians will thoroughly examine every aspect of an extinguisher. Checking its external appearance to its internal components. They will conduct functional tests and maintenance procedures to address any issues promptly.

Furthermore, there are several sustainable benefits of refurbishing and servicing existing fire extinguishers over wholesale replacement. Not only does servicing extend the lifespan of extinguishers and reduce waste, but it also offers significant cost savings and ensures uninterrupted fire protection.

At OHEAP, we understand the importance of fire extinguisher servicing in safeguarding lives and property. Our team of trained technicians is committed to delivering high-quality servicing that meets the highest industry standards. Therefore, ensuring that your fire safety equipment is always ready when you need it most.

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