Maintaining your fire equipment is crucial. It’s not only a compliance requirement, but a safety imperative to keep your people and equipment safe. After all, fire extinguisher maintenance could mean the difference between a manageable fire, or an out-of-control blaze that reeks harm and havoc. What fire equipment 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. There are two types of maintenance you will need to carry out – professional, scheduled maintenance and self-maintenance. Here’s a guide to help you understand what’s involved in both:
Professional, scheduled maintenance
Australian standards require that all fire equipment must require ongoing, scheduled maintenance and inspection. As part of your maintenance program, experienced technicians will:
- Test all your equipment and systems, ensuring they’re up to Australian Standards
- Ensure all components are replaced or repaired when needed
- Record the work performed using a fire equipment register – you’ll also receive a certificate of inspection.
Your building and your code application will influence how regularly your equipment must be maintained, but generally the following rules apply:
- Fire hydrants with pumps will need monthly, half yearly and yearly maintenance.
- Fire extinguishers, fire blankets, fire hose reels, fire hydrants without pumps, 240v smoke alarms, warning and operational signs, and automatic fail-safe devices generally require half yearly and yearly maintenance.
Feel free to contact us for assistance if you’re unsure of your compliance maintenance needs.
While scheduled maintenance by a professional is a regulatory requirement, there are certain things that you can do to maximise the safety of your own equipment. Regularly doing the following can guarantee a more fire-safe working and living environment:
- Self-conducted maintenance While scheduled maintenance by a professional is a regulatory requirement, there are certain things that you can do to maximise the safety of your own equipment. Regularly doing the following can guarantee a more fire-safe working and living environment:
- Revise your needs from time to time. If your environment has changed, it may be time to reconsider whether you have enough equipment.
- Ensure you have the right type of extinguishers. Whether you require Water, Foam, Carbon Dioxide, Dry Chemical Powder ABE or Wet Chemical will depend on your unique fire risks. For more information, please refer to our article about the types of extinguishers, and view our breakdown of the classes of fires.
- Consider the location of your equipment. Is it easily accessible in the event of a fire? It’s essential to ensure you don’t allow any obstructions to block the way of your fire equipment.
- Check your signage. Is it visible from all angles? Make sure people can read the labels clearly on all equipment.
- Make sure your fire extinguisher has been installed correctly. Use our guide for assistance: How to install a fire extinguisher.
- Ensure staff are fully trained in the use of your equipment. If you’re unsure, it might be time to conduct a refresher training session for the use of your equipment.
- Ensure nothing seems out of order. You should always request professional assistance if you suspect the label or instructions have been compromised. Additionally, for fire extinguishers, it’s important to request professional assistance if the 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.
Still not sure what maintenance your equipment requires? 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.