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Page Last Updated 30th November 2013
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Fire Extinguisher Inspection

We provide high quality fire extinguisher servicing, maintenance, and recharging.  By law Fire extinguishers should be tested at least every 12 Months.  Fire extinguishers are inspected not only to ensure they will work when required but also to ensure they work safely.  The inspection is carried out by qualified extinguisher technicians who are fully insured. Unlike most of our competitors we are not motivated by selling new extinguishers to our customer, if it can be discharge tested and a recharged, we will do it . Click here to read more

Fire Extinguisher And Safety Signage Surveys

You may find that your premises has changed quite extensively since you begun business, it may become prudent to have a Fire extinguisher and safety signage site survey carried out by London And Home Counties Fire Protection.  This is a charged for service, unlike other companies who offer free surveys we do not need to inflate the type and quantity of fire extinguishers or signage you require. Generally we can reduce the amount of extinguishers you have installed thus saving you money on the annual maintenance.  Click here to read more

Fire Risk Assessment

Our fire risk assessments are carried out by qualified personnel, they understand in the current economic situation, costs of not only carrying out a assessment, but the costs for addressing issues raised by the assessment are very important to the customer.  The assessors are simply there to carry out a written fire risk assessment, they are not looking to sell or find work.  Click here to read more
Fire Extinguisher Training
Fire extinguisher training is a legal requirement in the UK under the Fire Safety Order 2005. Fire extinguisher training  is one of those courses where at least one person in your building or office should have attended.  We can offer a varying level of fire extinguisher training, ranging from just a quick talk and explanation of how a extinguisher works to a half day course with our health and safety trainer with hands on use of extinguishers. Click here to read more

The UK Fire Association

by admin on November 30, 2010

How to buy fire extinguishers without getting your fingers burnt

For anyone with a business or organisation requiring fire extinguishers to ensure compliance with Fire Regulations the market can seem quite bewildering. Do I buy online, through a stationery catalogue or from a fire extinguisher maintenance company?

The starting point is to always buy extinguishers that comply to a third party accreditation, the most commonly recognised in the UK is the BSi kitemark, but there are others including Lloyds Register. Regrettably the CE mark alone is no guarantee of product quality.

Let’s look at the merits and drawbacks from the three different purchasing options;

The internet and catalogues.

On the face of it these channels appear to offer good value for money and are great when you are buying a ‘commodity’ e.g. book’s DVD’s music, etc. that require no after sales service. In certain situations the internet and catalogues approach will be fine, but beware the pitfalls when buying a fire extinguisher-in particular the hidden costs and compliance issues.

An extinguisher does not need a high level of service support at the point of sale, but to ensure compliance with Fire Regulations you will need help and advice during installation and the ongoing servicing throughout its life. As with any other product bought these channels you are only buying box, and usually an arms length service.

Advantages;

·      Cheaper-if you know what you are doing.

·      Convenience- quick delivery directly to site.

Disadvantages;

·       Likelihood of damage in transit (our suppliers will only ship extinguishers on pallets to reduce the risk of damage). You will have the inconvenience of packaging and returning damaged extinguishers often at your own cost.

·       Extinguishers are often supplied with a completed service label, but this does not constitute the ‘commissioning service’ recommended in BS5306 part 3: 2009 whereby the technician ensures that it is safe, fully functional, appropriately placed and appropriate for the fire risks at hand. Beware the supplier’s who attempt to get around the requirement by supply a self commissioning tick box label meaning you take responsibility for the commissioning and the inherent risk if something goes wrong when you fill it in.  

·       The hidden cost of the ‘commissioning service’ by a COMPETENT PERSON as required by BS5306 part 3: when installing the equipment. This will need to be arranged with a local extinguisher servicing company at extra cost. If the extinguisher comes with a DIY tick box maintenance label you take responsibility for it compliance if you complete and apply it to the extinguisher.  

A professional extinguisher Maintenance Company

Prices will vary from company to company – obviously the larger ones with sales teams and large offices will have greater overheads and will be more expensive than a small operator working from home. Unless you need nationwide coverage than this may be the only difference between them, but to be sure ask to see the following documentation before awarding them the work and signing the contract;

·          QUALIFICATIONS – the Technicians needs to have a BAFE recognised examination certificate either BAFE, FETA, British Fire Consortium or IFEDA and if over 3 years old then this should be supplemented with a Technicians Refresher Certificate from a recognised body.  

·         TRADE ASSOCIATION – you have some come back if the firm that you are dealing with are bone-fide members of a genuine fire trade association which in the UK will be the UK Fire Association, FIA, IFEDA or the BFC. These can sometimes be falsely added to service paperwork or membership may have lapsed – so if you are in any doubt call the trade association for verification.  

·         INSURANCE – employers, public liability and efficacy (failure to perform) – is the level of cover realistic for the risks they pose to your business?  

·          REFERENCES – similar organisation to yourselves in terms of size and industry sector and follow them up!  

·          ESTIMATE – the nature of extinguisher servicing makes it impossible to accurately quote for without doing a full survey first, this is rarely practicable. Do at least get a quote for attendance and basic extinguisher servicing 

Advantages;

·          It their duty to recommend adequate extinguisher cover to protect you from fire and keep you compliant with fire legislation. Hence they take on the liability should things go wrong!  

·           Convenience – supply, installation, commissioning and ongoing servicing all taken care of.  

·          Normally a warranty on new fire extinguisher of 5 years – subject to unbroken servicing during the 5 years by the original provider.  

·           Fast response when you need refills or other work.  

·          Extinguisher servicing companies can often provide a comprehensive range of fire protection services as you need them, e.g. fire awareness and wardens training, fire alarm servicing, fire risk assessment, sprinklers/hydrants/risers testing, etc.  

Disadvantages;

·          Perceived higher cost – often not the case when you include all the hidden costs. 

·          It is quite easy to set up in business and sell extinguishers from the boot of a car so every area seems to have its own ‘rogue trader’ using high pressure or underhand sales/servicing techniques.

If you use common sense and follow our guidance notes above you should be fairly secure. There is no right or wrong way of sourcing fire extinguishers and the guidance we have provided should help you decide which route is best for you avoiding the unexpected pitfalls and potential extra costs along the way. The bottom line is if your fire equipment does not comply you are not just flouting fire regulations you are putting your facilities and employees at risk. Four out of five fires are extinguished using a fire extinguisher – so you want it to work instantly the moment you need it!

If you use common sense and follow our guidance notes above you should be fairly secure. There is no right or wrong way of sourcing fire extinguishers and the guidance we have provided should help you decide which route is best for you avoiding the unexpected pitfalls and potential extra costs along the way. The bottom line is if your fire equipment does not comply you are not just flouting fire regulations you are putting your facilities and employees at risk. Four out of five fires are extinguished using a fire extinguisher – so you want it to work instantly the moment you need it!

When buying equipment from a UK Fire Association Member you are assured of receiving quality service by a committed company that’s first interest is looking after your best interests to ensure your continued custom, go to http://www.uk-fa.org to find your nearest member. Members have to be qualified, adequately insured and work to our unique Code of Practice, that sets out exactly what you can expect from using a UK Fire Association Member and the process to take if things should go wrong. If you need further information visit the Consumers section on our website http://www.uk-fa.org or contact Alan Palmer, Secretary at the UK Fire Association on 01932 252306 or email admin@uk-fa.org

Reproduced courtesy of Alan Palmer F.I.R.E LTD

Below is a article from the UK Fire Association
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