Extending The Life Of Your Fire Hose - A Detailed Guide
Building owners are responsible for the safety of their buildings, occupants, and visitors. That’s why they’re legally and morally obliged to invest in fire safety equipment and install these devices throughout their buildings. However, simply buying fire safety equipment for firefighting is not enough.
Building owners must routinely inspect, maintain, and service fire extinguishers and other firefighting equipment. It’s the only way they can guarantee that these devices will function correctly during emergencies. Here’s a brief guide on how, when, why, and building owners should have their fire extinguishers serviced –
The Importance Of Monthly visual Inspections
Contrary to belief, visual inspections of fire extinguishers reveal a lot of information. Regularly checking the external conditions of your fire extinguishers allows you to identify potential issues in your firefighting equipment. These small measures can save lives, so they must be carried out frequently, ideally once every month (if not more).
When a user is trying to service fire extinguisher and other fire protection equipment, they should –
- Visually assess the fire extinguishers for signs of corrosion or other external damages. They must also ensure that the discharge hose doesn’t have any blockages or signs of corrosion.
- Make sure that the fire extinguisher’s safety pins and tamper seals are properly installed.
- Read the pressure gauge and make sure that the indicating needles are in green areas.
- Weigh the equipment, write down the weight on its label, and repeat the process every month. There shouldn’t be more than 10% weight losses every month. If there is, the extinguisher may be faulty, and it must be recharged.
- The wall mountings holding the extinguisher must be in good condition.
When users attempt to service fire extinguishers, they must also ensure that the operating instructions on these devices are readable and easy to understand. In emergencies, building occupants may not have enough time to learn how to operate these devices clearly.
Clear and legible instructions enable them to act fast in emergencies. If circumstances require, users must service fire extinguishers more frequently. These monthly checks are time-efficient and easy to do. Fire extinguishers that are considered to be out of condition should be removed from service immediately.
The Importance Of Yearly Servicing
Building owners must partner with third-party fire extinguisher technicians (they must be licensed) who use the right tools to service fire extinguishers every year. During annual servicing sessions, fire extinguishers are emptied, their insides are inspected, and then they’re refilled. Technicians also conduct discharge tests to ensure the extinguisher discharges correctly during emergencies.
When Does Your fire Extinguisher Need Servicing/Replacing?
Apart from monthly and yearly inspections, building owners must also look for these signs of damages on their fire protection equipment -
- Clear signs of damage like cracked hoses, blocked nozzles, etc.
- Wobbly handles.
- The pressure gauge needles rest outside of the recommended green zones.
- The anti-tamper seal on the extinguisher is broken.
- There are no locking pins on the fire protection device.