Fire extinguisher testing isn’t just a legal requirement, it’s vital to overall safety.
Your extinguisher is your first line of defence against any fire. A working fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a small fire that’s extinguished early, and an out-of-control blaze that puts people in danger. Simply having a fire extinguisher is not enough – you also need to ensure that its working correctly. Even brand new extinguishers can malfunction from time to time, which makes regular testing and maintenance essential. Here’s what you need to know about testing your extinguishers:
Your legal obligations
Building Code of Australia (BCA) Standards dictate that fire extinguishers must be tested as follows:
- All fire extinguishers must be inspected and tested every six months, by a professional, in accordance with AS1851 Section 10
- Fire extinguishers need to be pressure tested and refilled every five years and recharged when an extinguisher is discharged. A licenced cylinder test station should carry out the pressure testing and certification
Other reasons for testing
While scheduled testing by a professional is a regulatory requirement, you may need to conduct additional testing of your extinguishers if:
- The extinguisher is in a location that’s susceptible to tampering, damage, or injury such as a public area or a place with high foot traffic
- Your equipment is being moved around or relocated
- You suspect damage has taken place, or the extinguisher has been discharged intentionally or accidentally
- You notice that the extinguisher’s anti-tamper seal is broken, the lock pin is missing, the pressure needle has left the green zone or the nozzle is cracked, blocked or ripped.
Fire extinguisher testing is just one part of regular, scheduled maintenance conducted by a professional. Not only will the maintenance professional test all your equipment and systems to ensure they’re up to Australian Standards. They’ll also ensure all components are replaced or repaired when needed, and record the work performed using a fire equipment register. What fire maintenance you’ll require depends on a range of factors, from the type of equipment to the class of fire you may be dealing with.
- Ensuring you have the right type of extinguishers whenever your business’ fire risks change
- Checking the location of your equipment. Is it easily accessible in the event of a fire?
- Checking your signage. Is it visible from all angles?
- Ensuring staff are fully trained in the use of your equipment
Want to learn more about fire extinguisher testing? Fire Equipment Online is here to help. Our team of highly-qualified experts will help find the most affordable and most well-suited solution for you, no matter how unique your requirements may be. Contact us today for more information.