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Page Last Updated 4th January 2012
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Your questions Answered

Q. Do i need to have my fire extinguishers maintained?
A. The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 requires the responsible person ensures that a system of maintenance is put in place to ensure that all the fire fighting equipment kept in an efficient state, in working order and in a good repair. 
 
Q. What is the minimum level of maintenance?
A. To satisfy requirements of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 article 17 as a minimum, maintenance should be carried out to the extinguisher manufacturers instructions.  Almost all fire extinguisher manufacturers adopt  BS5306 pt 3 as the standard to maintain their extinguishers.
 
Q. What and why is an extended service?
A. Extended service is the discharging under controlled conditions by a competent person to ensure that it performs correctly, it is then stripped down and thoroughly inspected inside and out.  With the majority of modern extinguishers being the stored pressure type,  it is only at this point that the internal condition of the extinguisher can be verified.  If the extinguisher is in usable condition, any faulty or worn parts are replaced, it is re charged and placed back into service.  Extended service intervals for Water, Powder, Foam and Wet Chemical extinguishers is 5 years. Co2 extinguishers are required to have a major overhaul 10 years from its last test, this can only be carried out at a authorised cylinder test centre.

 

 
 
 

Q. My fire extinguisher maintenance company tells me its cheaper to buy new extinguishers than carry out an extended service on my existing ones, is this correct?
A. Unless the extinguishers have a plastic operating valve or requires additional parts then this is untrue , it usually means that their technician is either unable, unwilling to refill your extinguishers or it's just for financial gain (commission) they want to sell you new extinguishers. 
 
Q. My fire extinguisher maintenance company tells me that my extinguishers are not approved type and unfit for use, what does this mean?
A. This phrase can be used by service technicians to replace fire extinguishers that are perfectly fit for service in most incidences.
 
The facts are that all fire extinguishers manufactured since 2002 must carry a CE mark, if the extinguisher was made before 2002 then a CE mark is not required, furthermore refurbished extinguishers can not carry a CE mark and therefore can not be condemned for not carrying it.  The BS Kitemark and BAFE Approval are all additional gained by the manufacturer at their decision, these approvals are not required under the RRO or BS5306, having said that extinguishers carrying more approvals you would assume to be of a better quality than those without.