Fire extinguishers: Maintenance & Servicing

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Fire extinguishers save the UK economy about £500 million per year and prevent over 1,500 injuries. Fire extinguishers successfully extinguish fires in more than 80% of cases.

We offer a low-cost Fire Alarm Design, Installation, and Maintenance service, as well as a Fire Extinguisher maintenance programme to businesses across Essex and London.

M & G Fire Protection (Essex) Ltd can construct a bespoke maintenance plan to your company’s needs, from ‘Pay-as-you-go’ to completely comprehensive plans that include coverage of new extinguishers.

Fire extinguishers must be able function immediately when required, therefore they must be examined and serviced on a regular basis. Fire extinguishers are pressurised containers that can explode if they become damaged or corroded, which can potentially cause serious injury or death.

According to the Regulatory Fire Reform (Fire Safety Order) 2005, fire fighting equipment must be subject to a suitable system of maintenance and are “maintained in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.”

Maintenance processes are classified into two types: visual examination by the user and maintenance by a qualified person.

Fire extinguishers maintenance timing

The table below displays the recommended intervals for fire extinguisher maintenance. If the monthly visual examination reveals any damage or a reduction in pressure, it may be essential to perform a basic service more than once in a 12-month period.

Extinguisher typeVisual inspectionBasic serviceExtended service
Water & water basedMonthlyAnnual5 years
PowderMonthlyAnnual5 years
Powder – primary sealedMonthlyAnnual10 years
CO2MonthlyAnnual10 years

Visual basic inspection

The visual inspection should be carried out, and recorded, on a monthly basis and cover:

  • – Visibility of the extinguisher – can it be easily seen?
  • – Location of the extinguisher – is it where it should be?
  • – Operating instructions – are the instructions visible and easy to read?
  • – The condition of the extinguisher – has it been damaged or are there parts missing?
  • – Extinguisher pressure – is the pressure within safe operating limits?
  • – Tamper seals – have the seals and tamper indicators been broken?

Extended servicing

Most fire extinguishers require prolonged servicing every five years. This entails thoroughly discharging the extinguisher, inspecting it for internal corrosion, refilling, and re-pressurising it.

Every ten years, carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers require an extended service. This includes a hydrostatic pressure test to ensure compliance with pressure vessel regulations, as well as a new valve. The majority of fire extinguisher servicing engineers will provide a ‘service exchange’ (refurbished) unit.