In our previous post, we explained the importance of maintaining and testing equipment, this time, we're looking specifically at fire extinguisher servicing and how it's making the world a better place.
A bold statement, we know. But it's true, and here's why...
Fire extinguishers and blankets are required by law in any commercial business property, from office buildings to schools.
Without them, staff wouldn't be properly equipped to tackle small fires.
It is the Responsible Person's job to ensure that the fire extinguishers and blankets are:
If the fire safety equipment isn't operational when there is an emergency, the Responsible Person will be held accountable!
Fire extinguisher servicing might not be at the top of a school's list of must-haves, certainly lower than new PCs for the media department OR sports equipment for the gym!
But STOP for a moment! Consider what would happen if a small fire started in the food technology lab?
Imagine the scenario; a student is messing around with her friends and leaves a pan of hot oil unattended on the hob. The oil overheats and catches fire! They try to move the pan, but the handle is too hot and they drop it. Burning oil spills everywhere!
All is not lost! Thankfully the teacher was properly trained.
She runs to the nearest Wet Chemical fire extinguisher to fight the small blaze, calling for the students to follow the fire drill and vacate the room... but when she squeezes the handle... nothing happens!
The fire is quickly spreading.
The teacher is so caught up in trying to get the extinguisher to work that, before you know it, half of the room is on fire.
At this point, the smoke detectors have set the alarm off so the rest of the school can safely evacuate. Disaster is averted!
What should have been a small situation with an easy fix turned into a full evacuation and a major disruption.
There are a number of reasons that the fire extinguisher could have stopped working - all of which could have been identified and fixed with regular servicing.
Now, ask yourself:
You guessed it - the Responsible Person is at fault here and could be fined heavily.
The Responsible Person must ensure the firefighting equipment is in full working order.
And now you see, a little detail that seems so insignificant in the grand scheme of things really does make the world a better place...
Without fire extinguisher servicing, a small fire that would have been tackled quickly can erupt into something much more menacing. So, that begs the question, how often should I get my fire extinguishers checked?
Generally, they are tested on a monthly or annual basis - you can get more info here.
The scheduling of tests and repairs is part of the Fire Risk Assessment and so is something for the Responsible Person to take care of.
Any third party companies used to deal with issues raised by the Fire Risk Assessment must be professional, fully trained, qualified and compliant with the appropriate regulations.
If there's one thing you take away from this post, let it be this:
To ensure your Fire Extinguishers are in tip top condition and ready for action, don't settle for anything less than an NSI Gold accredited service provider - especially relevant in a school.
Why? Because choosing the cheaper option in the hope of saving the school some cash is a disaster waiting to happen.
The danger is in the word cheap. If it sounds to good to be true, it is! There will be corner-cutting somewhere - such as cheaper, less reliable products OR lack of accreditation, like NSI Gold, and subsequent gaps in knowledge about up to date regulations.
An accredited installer is very reassuring because their engineers are insured and fully compliant with fire safety standards and laws.
For compliant school security, the Responsible Person can't afford to cut corners.
If the worst happens you face unlimited fines or even a prison sentence.
Click the button below to download your free guide that outlines the 10 things you need to know, and act on, to avoid jail!