Fire extinguishers testing in Wellington helps prevent disasters.

Regular fire extinguishers testing in Wellington is an essential part of every businesses safety procedures. If a fire breaks out there’s no time to delay. Fire extinguishers are your first line of defence in the event of fire, and need to be accessible and in working order, for the safety of staff, customers and your business.

The last thing you want is for your fire extinguishers to fail. If they do, with the wind behind the fire, it can get out of control in next to no time. This could result in tragedy. The onus is on the Emergency Planning Committee in your business to ensure there’s a plan in place for regular inspection, testing and maintenance of your fire extinguishers.

If you don’t have a committee set up, now’s the time to establish it and prepare the plan. In case you didn’t know, business owners in New Zealand are legally obliged to provide a safe workplace for all employees. A part of this is to do everything possible to reduce the risk of a fire emergency.

This means ensuring all your fire equipment, not just fire extinguishers, are properly tested and working.

How often do fire extinguishers need to be tested?

Fire extinguishers testing in Wellington should be done regularly. The New Zealand Standard (NZS) 4503:2005 states that fire extinguishers should be checked every 12 months. The exception to the rule is if the fire extinguishers are located in an aggressive environment. In this case, they should be checked every 6 months.

An aggressive environment is any environment:

  • with excessive exposure to sunlight or UV light
  • that is extremely dusty or dirty
  • that experiences extreme moisture 
  • with conditions of extreme temperatures 
  • with higher than normal vibrations caused by machinery

When inspected, defective units get tagged appropriately, removed from the site and replaced with a working unit. 

No matter where you have a fire extinguisher, it needs to be tested, maintained, and ready to go.

Fire extinguisher in a ping pong room

What does planned testing and maintenance involve?

Fire extinguishers testing in Wellington needs to be carried out by a professional fire safety team. Each piece of equipment, including fire extinguishers, must be properly maintained to ensure they’ll work in the event of an emergency, and that they’re safe.

Apart from saving lives and saving your business, there’s an added advantage to maintaining the equipment regularly, and that’s how it can extend the operational life of some equipment. 

During a scheduled maintenance, experienced technicians will;

  • Check and service all equipment in line with NZS 4503:2005
  • Repair/replace any components where required
  • Keep a clear written record of all work carried out onsite

With accurate maintenance records, and maintenance tags on each piece of equipment, you’ll know exactly when the next inspection is due, so there’ll be no confusion at all. 

How do you know what type of fire you can use a hand-operated fire extinguisher on?

Your business should have appropriate regulation signage for your fire safety equipment.  

These should include:

  • Where the equipment is located
  • The type of extinguisher it is
  • Complete instructions for use indicating which types of fires the equipment is for

If this signage is not there, it needs to be addressed immediately. Disasters can happen when using an incorrect extinguisher, and if you don’t extinguish a fire with the correct equipment, the resulting damage is likely to cost you more in terms of repairs and downtime for your company. 

Another issue to think about is your insurance company’s response. If you don’t have appropriate equipment, or it hasn’t been tested and maintained, it’ll most probably end up in higher premiums for your business, or they may even decline cover or refuse to pay out on a claim. If someone is injured or worse because of negligence, you’ll leave yourself open to prosecution. Using the correct fire extinguisher is vital.

Burnt fire extinguisher

Why you need fire extinguishers even though you have a sprinkler system

A sprinkler system is a very effective fire suppression system and gives automatic protection. What happens in the event of a small fire that doesn’t activate the sprinkler system? 

As you can see by this example of small undetected fires, having a sprinkler system doesn’t negate the need for your business to have strategically placed hand-held fire extinguishers. These can be used fast and efficiently to put out small fires quickly. 

Studies have been undertaken in Australia, USA and Europe which reveal that 80% of fires are put out by hand operated fire fighting equipment. This would equate to about 5000 fires a year in New Zealand.

Remember, small fires can also do a lot of damage.

Jim’s Fire Safety are experienced professionals 

If you have any doubts whatsoever as to whether your business is ‘fire ready’ or not, get onto Jim’s Fire Safety straight away. 

Our team of experts are highly experienced and renowned for excellent fire safety services. We’re trusted right across New Zealand. 

Each and every Jim’s Fire Safety technician is highly trained and up to date with the latest fire safety regulations. With us, you can have peace of mind, knowing fire safety in your workplace is all in order, and your equipment is ready in the event of a fire. 

For fire extinguishers testing in Wellington, you’re in the right place. We look after you now and into the future. 

Call our friendly team today, or fill in the online form for a free quote.