Fire Safety Advice
The following guidance notes have been taken from and are available to view and download for free on the NIFRS website from fireSAFE, in the Guidance Documents section.

Section 3 Guidance on Firefighting Equipment

All testing of equipment should be in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.

Portable Fire Extinguishers

Monthly Inspection

It is recommended that a regular visual inspection of all extinguishers is carried out by the responsible person or other nominated competent person not less than monthly.

Inspection checks should include:
• Are extinguishers located in the designated place?
• Are extinguishers visible and unobstructed?
• Are operating instructions legible and do they face outwards?
• That extinguishers have not been used and have no obvious damage.
• That pressure gauges/indicators are reading within operational and safety limits.
• That the seals and tamper indicators are not broken or missing.

Corrective action should be arranged where necessary.

Annual Service and Inspection by a Competent Person

The user should ensure that extinguishers, gas cartridges and replacement charges are inspected, serviced and maintained as recommended in current British Standards. These procedures should be carried out by a competent person capable of conducting them according to the recommendations of this code and any special procedures recommended by the manufacturers using recommended tools, equipment and materials at least annually.

Schedule of Maintenance

Type of Extinguisher ___ Basic Service___ Extended Service with Discharge Test___ Overhaul and Recharging

Water (Stored Pressure)
Water (Gas Cartridge)

Every Year

Every 5 Years

_ _

Foam (Stored Pressure)
Foam (Gas Cartridge)

Every Year

Every 5 Years

_ _

Powder (Stored Pressure)
Powder ( Gas Cartridge)

Every Year

Every 5 Years

_ _

Carbon Dioxide

Every Year

_ _

Every 10 Years

Wet Chemical

Every Year

Every 5 Years

_ _

Hose Reels

These should be inspected at intervals depending on the environment/fire risks by a competent person for obvious leaks and corrosion. Regular visual checks should also be carried out to ensure that the hose reel is unobstructed, clearly visible and operating instructions are present.

Annual Service and Inspection by a Competent Person
The hose should be completely run out and subjected to operational water pressure to ensure that the hose is in good condition, that all couplings are water tight and the nozzle is easy to operate. A flow test should be carried out to ensure a steady and sufficient flow (use of a flow indicator and pressure gauge is recommended).

Sprinkler Systems (Automatic)

Weekly Routine

The following checks should be recorded:

• Water and air pressure gauge reading on installations, trunk mains and pressure tanks and water levels in elevated private reservoirs, rivers, canals, lakes, water storage tanks and all gauge readings and levels recorded.

• That each water motor alarm has been sounded for at least 30 seconds.

• Fuel and oil levels of diesel engines used to power automatic pumps.

• That automatic pumps start when the water pressure is reduced to the specified level and, if powered by diesel engines, the oil pressure, the flow of cooling water through open-circuit cooling systems or the water level in the primary circuit of closed-circuit cooling systems, and whether the engines will restart, using the manual start test button.

• The electrolyte level and density of all acid battery cells and if the density is low that the battery charger is working correctly. Ensure that the affected cells have been replaced.

• The operation of the mode monitoring system for stop valves in life safety installations.

• The continuity of connection between the alarm switch and the control unit and between the control unit and the fire service (usually via a remote manned centre) for automatically monitored connections.

• The correct functioning of trace heating systems provided to prevent freezing in the sprinkler system.

Quarterly, half yearly, yearly and three yearly
Arrange for inspections and tests of the sprinkler system to be carried out by a competent person, for any defects found to be logged and ensure any necessary action is taken. Ensure that certificates of satisfactory testing are received