It’s a tongue in cheek title but if you’re not getting your fire extinguishers at work regularly inspected and maintained properly annually, then that may be all they’re good for.
Critical things with Fire Extinguishers
The most important thing you should have are the correct fire extinguishers for the risks inside your building. In most light commercial offices, this will be a combination of foam, water and CO2 – but you can’t ever assume that, and so it’s really important to get professional advice from properly qualified and certified providers like Realm.
Even when you have the correct extinguishers you will still require to have trained fire wardens in your business, who have a good understanding of the different types of extinguishers – and as equally important – how to use them effectively.
Fire Extinguishers: correct standards
Fire extinguishers should have a BS Kitemark and that’s a very easy place to start because you should obtain them from reputable providers, preferably from somewhere who can also organise a proper maintenance schedule.
During the restrictions because of the pandemic, we had customers who thought that because their building was empty, they didn’t need to get their fire extinguishers inspected. As the restrictions lift and businesses are opening for different hours and for smaller numbers of people, we’re also hearing of customers thinking as long as one of their employees is trained as a fire warden, it doesn’t matter if they’re only in four times a fortnight. Both of these perceptions are flawed.
Buildings may be empty of their workforce but there are still people going in and out of many commercial premises to conduct maintenance, to read meters or to clean. Without properly serviced and maintained fire extinguishers, business owners will not be complying with their statutory obligations.
It’s important that every business has a positive mindset around fire safety and the responsibilities to everyone using your building, from employees to visitors of all kind.
The positive side of this is that many have been incredibly responsible. It is far easier servicing fire extinguishers in an empty building and that has meant we can minimise contact.
Fire Extinguishers: regular maintenance
In most commercial premises, fire extinguishers sit in location. They can last indefinitely in an office environment, if they’re kept in good condition. Every five and ten years, they need an extended service & refill. The extended service includes fully discharging each extinguisher and refilling with fresh medium.
Fire Extinguishers: BAFE-certified engineers
Here at Realm, our engineers are all BAFE approved and on the BAFE Approved Technicians scheme. They’ve sat an examination and are audited by a third-party company to check their work, which provides reassurance for our customers, it’s evidence and proof that they’ve done work to the required standard.. We’re also the only BAFE accredited business for fire risk assessments in the region. Many competitors do not have BAFE-certified engineers either. We would strongly recommend that anyone looking for fire extinguisher maintenance services should check for the standards their potential providers work to; BAFE certification for all technicians should be a minimum when deciding how credible and how much integrity your provider may have.
If you would like to discuss your current fire extinguisher maintenance agreement or any of the fire safety requirements we’ve discussed, please contact the team on 01224 710014 or firstname.lastname@example.org with fire extinguisher in the subject line.