Protecting Fire Extinguishers

in Home-security

Pressures in fire extinguishers vary between models and manufacturers but can range from 6.9 bar to 55 bar. Wall mounting by a competent person or storing on purpose made stands can help to prevent extinguishers being damaged. On vehicles, correctly fitted transport brackets or extinguisher cabinets should help to protect from any physical damage. The responsible person when checking extinguishers as part of their weekly or monthly checks should always inspect for any damage and record any defects in a fire log book and if necessary or unsure report to their fire extinguisher service provider who will be able to advise further.

Protecting extinguishers from tampering and theft is also important as tampering could cause injury to the individual or lead to a fire extinguisher not working correctly or not being available when needed if missing completely. It could also result in extra costs during an annual fire extinguisher service which is to be avoided and prevented if possible. Anti tamper tags are fitted as part of the servicing procedure to British Standards but extra measures in problem areas can be used ranging from extinguisher covers to battery operated anti tamper alarms. Extinguisher covers are good economical way of reducing the occurrence of tampering and misuse and are popular options in schools and leisure centres. Preventing theft is a more difficult problem as extinguishers need to be readily available if and when required. Anti theft alarms can be purchased for each extinguisher a risk, sounding an audible alarm if moved from its fixing point or base. This also offers a visible deterrent.

The environment is also something that can cause problems for fire extinguishers. Individual fire extinguishers should offer guidance on the suitable storage conditions such as temperature range. Water based extinguishers are not usually suitable in conditions below freezing. This should be considered when selecting and specifying suitable fire extinguishers. Adding a low freeze additive such as ethylene glycol is advised if an extinguisher is likely to be subject to freezing temperatures. This can offer protection at temperatures as low as minus 10 degrees Celsius. It is important to consider the effect this can have on the fire ratings of the extinguisher particularly if adding to AFFF foam fire extinguishers as it lowers the B rating. Refer to the individual manufacturer for advice or a qualified extinguisher service technician.

With most extinguishers being steel they are subject to corrosion and rusting if left outside in damp conditions and if left to go rusty will be soon condemned and need replacing. At the time of specifying and buying, it is worth considering the environment they are going in and a stainless steel choice may be worth the extra cost. Caravan sites often have stainless fire extinguishers to help protect them from the elements, but they will still need storing in cabinets or extinguisher boxes to protect them. Another factor is for locations by the coast where the salt air helps along the rusting process. In these areas a stainless steel fire extinguisher could work out cheaper in the long term.

Whilst some of the extra measures to protect fire extinguishers can add to the initial upfront costs, they can help to prevent future extra costs of replacing damaged extinguishers or refilling tampered extinguishers. They will also help to prevent the possible dangers posed from damaged or misused fire safety equipment.

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Protecting Fire Extinguishers

This article was published on 2012/03/15