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How To Maintain Your Fire Equipment

When alarm systems and suppression equipment are activated in a fire emergency, the initial few seconds might be the difference between a safe escape and a catastrophe.

Rural fire fighting equipment is built to last, but it isn’t indestructible. Regular fire safety equipment maintenance is a continuous obligation, just as reviewing fire safety practises in the workplace, servicing mission-critical equipment, or upgrading software.

Why is regular maintenance necessary?

Limited life

Almost all fire suppression and alert equipment, from extinguishers to sprinklers and fire alarm systems, contain components that must be inspected and updated or maintained on a regular basis.

Reliability

Without proper maintenance, potentially life-saving equipment might break down or malfunction at an inopportune time.

Compliance 

Australian Standards (which we’ll go over later) provide legal standards for fire safety equipment maintenance and process evaluations.

Duty of care

Employees and visitors are the responsibility of supervisors, landlords, and building management. Fire safety, on the other hand, is a shared duty. It has an effect on everyone who enters the building.

Tips for equipment maintenance and fire safety procedures in the workplace

To comply with Australian Standards AS1851 and AS2444, fire suppression equipment must be fully tested every six months.

Fire Extinguisher

Between professional inspections, fire wardens are frequently tasked with visually inspecting fire extinguishers:

  • Look for potential stumbling blocks.
  • Take note of any physical damage or tampering and report it.
  • Check the maintenance tag for the most recent test date.
  • Make that the holding bracket is in place.

However, not all fire extinguishers are created equal. Extinguishers should be inspected every six months by a fire safety professional.

  • Extinguishers should be weighed or pressure gauges should be checked.
  • Check for solidification by inverting powder extinguishers.
  • Ensure that all signage is up to date and visible.
  • Make sure the fire extinguisher isn’t more than 5 years old.
  • Extinguishers should be refilled or repressurized.

Fire blankets

Fire blankets are typically seen in food preparation facilities and are used to put out flames caused by:

  • Liquids that can catch fire (Class B)
  • Cooking fat or oil (Class F)
  • Carbon-based resources (Class A)

Fire blankets must meet the same Australian Standards as fire extinguishers. As part of ordinary fire safety practises in the workplace, fire wardens and employees can keep an eye out for damage or ageing in between expert inspections:

  • The pull tabs are in good condition.
  • The blanket is in the proper place.
  • The case is in fine working order.
  • There is no fading or wear on vital information.

Smoke detectors

Most smoke detectors are hard-wired, at least in buildings constructed or purchased after 1997. Even hard-wired smoke alarms, however, require batteries as a backup in the event of a power outage.

Every year, these batteries must be replaced. Fire Safe ANZ can evaluate the integrity of every smoke detector on your premises – and there are likely to be a lot of them – at the same time as we change the batteries.

Sprinklers

Are you aware that there are four different types of fire sprinkler systems? You may have a wet pipe, dry pipe, deluge, or pre-action system depending on your location.

Although there are some defects that are common to all fire sprinkler systems, each is prone to its own set of problems:

  • Corrosion
  • Sprinkler head or pipe damage
  • Poor maintenance
  • Missing escutcheon plate
  • Leaks

Fire Indicator Panels (FIPs)

  • Detecting smoke or flame
  • Producing audio and visual alarms
  • Alerting emergency services
  • Shutting down services like air conditioning

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