Inspection and Maintenance of PFEs (Portable Fire Extinguishers)
We all know why it is so important to have fire extinguishers around the building of your business!
But do you know how often these should be checked?
Frequency of Inspections
All PFEs shall be subjected to a visual examination to ensure they are available for use if needed.
Inspection intervals shall be no greater than monthly. Subject to a risk assessment and/or legislative/regulatory requirements, it may be considered that such inspections should take place more frequently.
Person Responsible / General Managers
The responsible person, having control over fire safety, shall be responsible for ensuring that Fire Extinguishers are visually inspected.
This person can nominate another to carry out the visual inspection, e.g. their agent, an internal/external contractor appointed by them, such as the supplier of the PFEs, a competent PFE maintenance agent etc.
Procedure for Inspection of PFEs
Installed PFEs shall be visually inspected regularly, and the following checked as a minimum:
- Each PFE is in its designated location, outward facing and is correctly and suitably wall mounted or on a suitable stand/ in a suitable cabinet.
- Access to and visibility of each PFE is not obstructed.
- Seal, tamper or a used indicator are not broken, missing or activated.
- Any seal can be easily removed if required and will not interfere with the operation of any PFE in an emergency.
- Readings of pressure gauges, where fitted, are in the operable range/position.
- There is no visible damage to the PFE.
- The PFE has no apparent defects, such as a visually clogged nozzle, corrosion, leakage, a loose or damaged hose etc.
- Where fitted, the discharge hose/horn is secured correctly.
Subject to a risk assessment and/or legislative/regulatory requirements, it may be considered that such inspection should take place more frequently.
We have created this checklist from 2015 IS291: Selection, Commissioning, Installation, Inspection and Maintenance of Portable Fire Extinguishers (PFEs), by the National Standards Authority of Ireland.
Disclaimer: This document is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal/fire safety advice. Each premise should review its procedures individually or seek out the advice of a Fire Safety Professional.
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