Fire extinguisher testing should be scheduled at intervals.
Fire extinguisher is our first line of defense during any fire incidence, since it is used to fight fire at the infant stage.
However, in the absence of a workable fire extinguisher, small fires may grow into an inferno. This is why all installed fire extinguisher should be routinely inspected to ensure that they are in a workable state.
According to the AS1851, fire extinguisher testing should occur at the following intervals:
- All portable and wheeled fire extinguishers need to be tested every 6 months.
- Pressure testing and refills should be carried out at least once every 5 years.
Records of the fire extinguisher testing should be recorded in the fire extinguisher inspection tags for reference purpose.
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During this testing, things we should check are:
- Accessibility: Is the fire extinguisher easily accessible at where it installed? If not, it should be relocated to a more accessible point.
- Anti-tamper device: Has the fire extinguisher been tampered with? For example, is the lock pin removed, etc. If it is tampered with, it should be uninstalled.
- Service tag: Is the service tag placed on the fire extinguisher? This service tag give information about the servicing history of the equipment. We should ensure that it is installed.
- External damage: The equipment is visually check for any external damage. If any external damage is detected, it should be put out of us.
- External corrosion: External corrosion is another thing that is considered. It is not a good sign, hence any extinguisher with external corrosion should be put out of use.
- Outlet hose assembly: The outlet hose is also checked to ensure that it is in a good condition and is not blocked.
- Pressure indicator: The pressure indicator in the fire extinguisher should always be on the green mark. This shows that the working pressure of the fire extinguisher is appropriate. If the pressure gauge falls into the red mark, this shows that the working pressure of the fire extinguisher is low, and it should be withdrawn from use.
- Signage: There should be a signage showing that a fire extinguisher is located at a specific point in the area.
- Support bracket: The support bracket should be adequate to hold up the extinguisher to prevent it from falling off.
- Discharge nozzle: There must not be any physical damage to the discharge nozzle. It should also be ensured that it is not blocked.
- Weight: The weight of the fire extinguisher may also be checked during testing. Here, lower weight may point to the fact that some extinguishing content may have been lost.
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Note that the testing process employs mostly visual checks.
Fire extinguisher testing is synonymous to fire extinguisher inspection.
Any fire extinguisher that is faulted on any of the checked parameters should be put out of us. Until it is serviced, and certified workable by trained professionals, it should not be put back into use.
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