Most people are aware of the importance of having a fire extinguisher at home or in the workplace. In case a fire breaks out, the fire extinguisher can help put out the fire or at least minimise the potential damage it can cause. It is sad to know, however, that only a few people realise the significance of regular maintenance of the extinguishers. Your fire systems either at home or in the office should be maintained regularly to ensure that they will work properly in the event of an emergency.
There is nothing more devastating than realising your fire system doesn’t work in times of emergency just because it wasn’t inspected for potential fault. So to prevent this scenario from happening, it is crucial to learn the importance of regular maintenance.
Importance of fire extinguisher maintenance
Whether you have the traditional kind of fire extinguisher or the latest fire suppression system, proper maintenance on a regular basis is essential. Not only it is a requirement but since extinguishers play such a major part in putting out or controlling fires before they get out of hand, it is critical that they function if and when they are needed.
Another reason why extinguishers should be properly maintained is to prolong their life. With regular servicing and performing maintenance, a fire extinguisher can last up to around 5 to 15 years before they require replacement. Oftentimes, a fire extinguisher supplier in Singapore can also provide maintenance service to their clients. They can conduct inspection and maintenance, especially if the extinguishers are acquired from them.
How often should fire extinguishers be serviced?
Ideally, fire systems must be maintained:
- When delivered (commissioning service)
When the extinguisher is installed or delivered, the supplier will do an initial examination to check for any signs of damage.
- Monthly (by designated person)
It is highly advisable to perform fire extinguishers inspections on a monthly basis. The assessment can be carried out by a designated person since it doesn’t require special training to be able to detect if the extinguishers are functioning properly. The inspector should record the findings in a logbook for reference.
- Annually (by a professional)
An annual inspection is considered as the most detailed and comprehensive examination of the fire systems that you have in the building. Unlike in month checking, this inspection must be carried out by a qualified and certified professional. The inspection process may vary depending on the type of fire extinguishers. For traditional extinguishers, the inside will be thoroughly inspected before it is then refilled. For extinguishers that use water, the line may be check for potential leaks.
After the service, it should be recorded with the date when the maintenance took place, the assessments and the name of the professional who performed the inspection.
Fire extinguisher maintenance is very important for everyone’s safety. Just imagine the possible damages and detrimental effects that a fire can cause if you neglected to perform regular maintenance.
So you should ensure that:
- The fire extinguisher is not obstructed by equipment or other objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
- There are no dents, rust, leaks, chemical deposits or other signs of abuse and wear on the systems. If you notice any of these signs, you can try to wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil or gunk that may have deposited on the extinguisher. Otherwise, you can seek the service of professionals if you are not confident in doing so.