FIRE EXTINGUISHERS AND EQUIPMENT
What do the fire extinguisher classifications mean?/What type of Extinguisher do I need?
Fires are classified according to the type of fuel that is burning. If you use the wrong type of fire extinguisher on a fire, you can, in fact, worsen the situation. It is therefore very important to understand the four different fire classifications.
Refer to attachment for what extinguisher should be used on what type of fire – reference from the Australian standards AS 2444.
Where can I store fire extinguishers?
All our fire extinguishers come with brackets to fit them to a wall or mount them to a vehicle.
Can the fire extinguishers be re-filled?
Yes, all fire extinguishers provided by Jim’s Fire Safety can be easily re-filled. Although when considering the cost of labour and travel included in this process, sometimes its more cost effective to simply ‘Swap out’ the unit for a new unit – we dispose of all units with environment in mind and can provide a certificate of correct disposal if required
Are fire extinguishers provided through Jim’s Fire Safety fully charged and ready to be used?
Yes, all fire extinguisher come fully charged, although they need to be installed and check that they meet the requirement for mounting, suitability to the environment, signage etc by a Jim’s Fire Safety technician.
How often do I have to have my fire extinguishers inspected?
All Fire Extinguishers in commercial premises (warehouses, offices, retail stores, factories etc.) and public buildings (hospitals, schools, movie theatres etc.) as well as multi-occupancy residential buildings must be inspected every 6 months in accordance with Australian Standard 1851. This includes Fire Extinguishers, Fire Hose Reels, and Fire Blankets etc.
How many Fire Extinguishers do I need?
The first step is to do a risk assessment to work out what type of fires may potentially occur in your workplace. Placement of Fire Extinguishers is governed by Australian Standard 2444 and the Building Code of Australia. As a guide the requirement is one extinguisher every 15 metres if practicable for Class A fires and every 20 metres for Class E and F fires. Obviously a common sense approach is advised in Fire Extinguisher quantities and locations due to the vast number of building configurations possible. This information should be considered as a general guide, not as an exact rule.
Who can inspect and test Fire Extinguishers?
Unfortunately there are no requirements in most of Australia regarding service contractors having to be licensed or accredited; in fact Queensland is the only state with these requirements. This has led to a number of unscrupulous contractors operating in this state without qualification or insurance. To ensure you use only accredited and insured technicians contact the Fire Protection Association Australia via their website www.fpaa.com.au. Look for Technicians that have been recognised to at least the ‘FPAS’ by the FPAA level as a starting point – all technicians and Jim’s Fire Safety are Certificate 2 trained and FPAS certified for the services we provide in the market.
Is it correct that Fire Extinguishers have to be pressure tested every 5 years?
Yes that is correct, some units are more often dependent on their contents and the environment they exist in. Australian Standard 1851 requires that most fire extinguishers be emptied and pressure tested every 5 years. They are emptied and then undergo an internal inspection for any faults. If they pass this test they are filled with water and pressure tested for leaks. If the Fire Extinguisher is deemed functional and safe, it is reassembled, refilled and stamped with a test date. Although when considering the cost of labour and travel included in this process, sometimes it’s more cost effective to simply ‘Swap out’ the unit for a new unit – we dispose of all units with environment in mind and can provide a certificate of correct disposal if required.
There seems to be some powder at the end of the hose, what has happened?
It appears as though someone has discharged the extinguisher either accidentally or otherwise and simply put it back without informing anyone. This is a dangerous practice as the extinguisher is now only partially full. This means it will not perform to its full capacity should a situation arise. All extinguishers must be refilled and re gassed after any discharge large or small.
I used my Fire Blanket on a small kitchen fire, is it ok to keep it?
No, throw it away and buy a new one. Fire Blankets can not perform well after even a single use.
Do your Fire Extinguishers have a warranty?
Yes, they have a 12 month warranty against defects. A defect in one of our high quality fire extinguishers is very rare, but all our products are backed by leading importers in Australia. Defects arising from abuse of the fire extinguisher however, are not guaranteed.
I have a Fire Extinguisher that has missed a few years on the service tag, can you just fill in the gaps?
No, unfortunately we have to start the process again. The Fire Extinguisher in question has to be emptied and pressure tested or replaced. Jim’s Fire Safety are strict in following the Australian Standards.
I have a yellow Fire Extinguisher, can you test it?
No, Yellow Halon Fire Extinguishers are banned and only used in aircrafts. In Australia serious penalties apply for unauthorised disposal of these types of fire extinguisher because they are filled with ozone depleting gas. Only licensed operators can handle these Fire Extinguishers so you will need to contact the MFS for disposal.