Extended Service, Periodic Discharge Testing and Pressure Testing
In addition to basic annual maintenance, every few years, (as a rough guide, 5 years for water, foam and powder and 10 years for CO2) extinguishers must be discharge tested (extended service or, for CO2, overhaul service) to make sure they actually work and are in good condition internally.

Fire Safety Services

With water and AFFF foam, they can be refilled on site. Powder will be too messy for this and CO2 extinguishers require specialist hydraulic testing in a workshop. The technician will usually exchange these for ones that have been factory tested rather than discharge in-situ.
Please note that we tend to replace these with new as our price for new products is usually less than the price to refill or test. Plus, as that extinguisher is already 5 years old, it is possible to pay for the test and refill this year and for it to fail the service and need replacing next year.

Commissioning Service
When it is removed from the box, each fire extinguisher needs an initial inspection; called a commissioning service in the British Standard 5306 part 3. It should be carried out by a competent person on site after delivery. Failure to have the extinguisher commissioned by a certified technician on site runs the risk of invalidating fire insurance cover and is a requirement of a thorough risk assessment for the current Fire Regulations (Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005).
Note: Beware of companies offering to "commission" or "certify" and extinguisher before delivery. This is not acceptable as the unit may be damaged during delivery. Also, the commissioning service includes positioning in the correct location and checking suitability for the location.

Installation Service
All extinguishers must be fixed in a permanent position. Ones with contents of 3 kg or 3 litres and above should be wall-mounted so that the handles are one metre from the floor. This also includes the common 2kg CO2 extinguisher. Smaller ones need to be mounted so that handles are one and a half metres from the floor level.
Our new extinguishers are supplied with a suitable wall mounting bracket in the box. The back of the extinguisher will have a bracket holder welded onto the body and all UK models are the same fitting. CO2 extinguishers have a little hole on the back side of the brass valve by the handles.
If you transport the extinguishers, take a look at transport brackets and straps for extra support. Most 1kg and 2kg powders will come with a wire clip bracket suitable for transport.
As many of our modern shops and offices have partition walls or expanses of glass, this may not be always practical. In that case, a fire extinguisher stand would be suitable.

The "responsible person" (the person responsible for the fire safety equipment at the premises or area of risk) has a duty to visually inspect the item at least monthly to include the following:

a.    each extinguisher is correctly located in the designated place
b.    each extinguisher is unobstructed and visible
c.    the operating instructions of each extinguisher are clean and legible and face outwards
d.    each extinguisher has not been operated and is not obviously damaged or has any missing parts
e.    the pressure gauge or indicator is within the correct pressure range
f.    the tamper seals or OK indicators of each extinguisher are not broken or missing

The results of these visual inspections should be recorded in a fire log book and corrective action, if necessary, is arranged. In the event of doubt the responsible person should arrange for a competent person (a certified extinguisher technician) to examine the extinguisher

 

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