Frequently Asked Questions.
Q: Why is BAFE approval important for the Annual Maintenance of my fire extinguishers?
A: For a maintenance company to achieve BAFE approval, a number of processes have to be inspected and audited to ensure the consumer has the best possible delivery of service and safest systems of maintenance on pressure vessels. Did you know that there is a growing list of commercial insurers who insist on BAFE aproval for contractors? AXA is one of the largest, along with specialist insurers like Ecclesiastical. Does your service provider and insurer sing in harmony?
Q: Is maintenance of fire fighting equipment and fire detection systems a legal requirement?
A: Yes, Article 17 of The Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005 states that a suitable system of maintenance should be in place for all fire equipment.
Q: Can I conduct my own Fire Risk Assessment?
A: In short, yes! If your premises layout is relatively straight forward and not operating with significant heat generation, volitile flammables or people at significant risk. However, in more complex environments with heightened hazards, then it is recommended to employ the services of a qualified assessor.
Q: What should I record in my Fire Safety Log?
A: A Fire Safety Log is your proof that you are conducting all relevant tests, checks and inspections. Both contractor maintenance intervals and your own tests. For example; Weekly tests for Detection & Alarm systems (usually the same time and day every week, so everyone will become aware of the test procedure). You should also record which call point you activated the alarm with. Emergency Lighting and extinguishers should be visually checked monthly. If you require a Log Book or guidance on filling out yours, drop us a line for assistance.
Q: I've been told I shouldn't have powder extinguishers inside anymore, is this true?
A: The latest British Standard for installations (BS5306-8:2012) states that they should not generally be specified for internal use, due to potential hindered evacuation actions from reduced visibility (particularly on upper levels) and those experiencing respiritory difficulties. The Standard also states that if the presence of powder can be mitigated by a Health & Safety Risk Assessment, then it is acceptable to continue to use. The obvious issues above would need to be eliminated and the presence of volatile flammable liquids would add considerable weight to an argument for keeping powder appliances installed.
Q: Is it true that carbon dioxide extinguishers only have a ten year life span?
A: Carbon Dioxide, or CO2 extinguishers require hydraulic pressure testing at 10 year intervals. In short, an overhaul, whereby the bottle body is tested, recoated and assembled with new valve. Many companies encourage Technicians to identify this as a sales opportunity, by stating that it's not financially viable to perform such tests. This is, of course, complete rubbish! The Firepoint can provide a Service Exchange program for less than half the price of a new extinguisher from many competitors.
Q: How often am I supposed to provide refresher fire training from my staff?
A: Legislation states that you must provide fire safety training periodically. This means that you should train new starters as a course of induction, when their working circumstances change and repeated at regular intervals, typically every 1 - 2 years. Fire Marshal Certification repetition generally applies every third year.