The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 (RRO) states that a competent person must have the correct qualifications, training and experience, access to the relevant tools, equipment and information, manuals and knowledge of the special procedures recommended by the manufacturer of the extinguisher. Fire extinguishers must be serviced by the competent person in accordance with British Standard BS5306-3:2009: Code of Practice for the commissioning and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers, which sets out the procedures.
Ensure Correct Fire Extinguisher Maintenance with these 6 Tips
- The mass of the extinguisher must be checked against that recorded on the maintenance label when first put into service or last recharged. Labelling must not obscure the BS EN3 markings or manufacturer’s markings.
- The label must state that maintenance was carried out according to BS5306-3. It must also record the measured mass of the extinguisher at the time of servicing or the difference between the measured mass at the time of service and the mass recorded at commissioning.
- When your extinguisher is recharged, this must be recorded on the label. The words ‘Non-maintained’ can only be used if the technician does not have the parts available and does not intend to return to your site.
- Extinguishers manufactured to older British Standards may still be serviced so long as they can be returned to a serviceable condition. Soda, acid, riveted and plastic-bodied extinguishers and those requiring inversion are excluded.
- The technician should provide a written report which advises the Responsible Person of any extinguishers that have been condemned, not maintained or are missing; of any replacement extinguishers needed to meet the minimum requirements of BS5306; that any replacement or additional extinguishers are provided as soon as possible and that there must be adequate fire fighting equipment available at all times.
- There is a tolerance period of 1 month either side of the 12 month basic service interval, so there is a saving to be made by not bringing the service forward, which some technicians may recommend.
Avoid putting your workers and others who use your premises at risk. Ensure your fire extinguishers are maintained by a competent person.