Having a fire extinguisher, smoke detector and other fire protection solutions in your home or business is an integral part of any good fire safety plan.
But what you may not know is that the equipment needs to be maintained, much like your car needs a regular service to keep it working. In some cases, fire protection equipment has a limited shelf life, which could also minimise the effectiveness of the equipment over time.
If you live or work in a multi-storey building, ensuring that you have operational fire protection solutions in place is crucial to the safety of everyone in the building.
So it is important to ask yourself: when was the last time your fire protection equipment was checked and maintained?
Emergency Lighting Systems
In a fire, it doesn’t take much to become disoriented due to smoke, which is why emergency lighting systems are so crucial to making sure you and your workmates or neighbours can escape safely.
A qualified technician should test emergency lighting systems every six months to ensure that the emergency lights are working as required.
To do this, the main power supply is switched off; the emergency and exit lights must then stay illuminated on battery charge alone for a minimum of 90 minutes.
If your emergency lighting system was to fail during an emergency, occupants of the building would significantly struggle with trying to exit the building – as the smoke, fire and lack of lighting can easily disorient those inside the building.
Fire extinguishers are often your first line of defence in a fire, so it is integral that your fire extinguishers are operating correctly.
Each type of extinguisher needs to be inspected every six months by a competent fire practitioner, who will undertake testing and maintenance to ensure they will work reliably if needed.
These tests include checks such as correct signage identifying the contents of the fire extinguisher, the “pull pin” is in its proper place and that there is no physical damage to the extinguisher.
Fire Hose Reels
When activated and operating efficiently, fire hose reels deliver a minimum of 0.33L of water per second, hopefully extinguishing large Class A (wood, paper and plastic) fires in your building.
Fire hose reels should be tested every six months, which makes it easy to schedule their testing in with your fire extinguisher and emergency lighting system testing.
If a fire hose reel has experienced a leak or broken nozzle, the pressure produced and the accuracy of the equipment is compromised, which may result in a fire continuing to spread.
Fire Sprinkler Systems
If a fire is detected in your workplace or multi-storey building, a fire sprinkler system is a fast acting, automatic fire protection solution.
For a fire sprinkler system to operate at capacity and efficiently extinguish a fire, it requires a constant supply of water and water pressure.
A qualified contractor should conduct monthly maintenance on your fire sprinkler system, as this fire protection solution is prone to corrosion inside the pipes or around sprinkler heads, leaking seals, tampered with or dislodged sprinkler heads and missing escutcheon plates.
Designed to prevent a fire from spreading to other areas of your building, a fire door is an effective fire protection solution to help you escape an approaching fire.
If damaged or obstructed in any way, a fire door may not work as expected, allowing smoke and fire to pass through the doorway and spread further in your building.
Fire door maintenance should be carried out every six months to ensure they comply with safety standards and are functioning as expected.
Fire Hydrant Systems
A fire hydrant is an integral piece of fire safety equipment, used by fire fighters as an access point for large volumes of water.
For your fire hydrant system to be working efficiently, it should have adequate water supply and storage, as well as correctly operating valves and pipes. As with all fire protection solutions, your fire hydrant should be tested and maintained every 6 months, with an annual flow test and an overhaul every 5 years.
Without an efficient fire hydrant system, fire fighters may not have sufficient water to totally put out a fire, which may result in catastrophic circumstances.
Residual Current Devices (RCDs)
RCDs are an effective fire protection solution, which work to prevent electrical fires by shutting off power if a fault triggers the sensors.
Maintenance and testing should be carried out on RCDs every six months to ensure that the electrical circuits in your home or workplace could be cut off quickly if there is any fault.
Call East Coast Fire & Safety Today
While workplaces and homes can implement fire safety plans to minimise the risk of fires, it is important to be vigilant and prepared in the chance a fire does occur.
East Coast Fire & Safety can test and maintain a range of fire protection solutions to ensure your workplace and home are as prepared as possible.
Our consultants are qualified and trained to ensure your fire protection solutions meet Australian Standards and as a company, we are also committed to delivering the highest standard of customer service.
Contact East Coast Fire & Safety today to ensure your unit, apartment, home or business is sufficiently prepared for any fire emergency.