FIRE EXTINGUISHERS & FIRE BLANKETS

Fire Extinguisher Training

Fire extinguishers and fire blankets are a first line of defence from fire. They are also used to extinguish or control small fires.

With proper fire extinguisher training you will know exactly what to do if a fire breaks out in your home, office or business.

Fire Safe ANZ install and service all fire extinguishers and blankets to AS2444 & AS1851. To meet Australian Standards fire extinguishers and blankets require regular inspection that ensures correct and reliable function in the event of a fire.

Different fires require different types of extinguishers; you can download a Firefighting Equipment Identification Chart here.

 

 

fire extinguisher testing

How Do You Test A Fire Extinguisher?

Australian law requires mandatory fire extinguisher inspections every 6 months.

The following steps must be taken when testing a fire extinguisher and must only be carried out by a competent fire practitioner:

  • Check there is nothing obstructing the extinguisher and it is in a suitable location for easy access and best coverage
  • Ensure there is correct signage identifying the contents of the extinguisher and a visible location sign
  • Make sure the bracket holding the extinguisher to the wall is properly secure
  • Ensure that the “pull pin” is in its proper place and secure, and the anti-tamper device is not broken or missing
  • Examine the extinguisher for any physical damage such as corrosion, leaks, a broken handle or a blocked or damaged nozzle
  • Weigh the extinguisher to make sure it is still full. If it is a powder extinguisher turn it upside down, listening to make sure the powder is still loose and has not solidified to the bottom of the bottle
  • Check the extinguisher is still in its operational date (within 5 years from the date of manufacture)
  • Check and update the stamp on the maintenance tag with the month of testing once all checks are completed. Any defects also need to be logged at the end of the test

Note that the list of steps above is simply a guide on how to test a fire extinguisher. Contact Fire Safe ANZ to learn more about testing, maintaining and replacing extinguishers to the correct standards.

 

Australian Standards For Fire Extinguishers & The Various Types

If there is any risk of fire in your workplace you will be required to comply with Australian Standard 2444-2001 for fire extinguishers.

Maintaining your fire extinguishers to Australian Standards means storing the correct extinguisher type in the correct location and environment, scheduling inspections every 6 months, and replacing extinguishers in case of fault or damage.

It is important to be familiar with the different types of fire extinguishers in Australia, as using the correct equipment is vital to safely controlling a fire.

So, what are the 5 different types of fire extinguisher and what are they used for?

Extinguisher type

Suitable for fire type

Used for

Water

Class A

Wood, paper, and plastic

Wet Chemical

Class A, F

Wood, paper, and plastic

Cooking oils and fats

Foam

Class A, B, F

Wood, paper, and plastic

Flammable liquids

Cooking oils and fats (limited use)

Powder (ABE)

Class A, B, C, E

Wood, paper, and plastic

Flammable liquids

Flammable gases

Electrically energised equipment

Carbon Dioxide

Class A, B, E

Wood, paper, and plastic (limited use)

Flammable liquids (limited use)

Electrically energised equipment

Knowing the different types of Australian fire extinguishers is essential. Using the incorrect extinguisher – for example a Class A water extinguisher on an electrical fire – will make the blaze worse, putting you and your workplace in danger.

Fire Safe ANZ provide fire extinguisher training, accredited inspections and supply the full range of Australian certified fire management equipment. If in doubt, schedule a consultation with our team to ensure your workplace is fire safe and up to code.

Frequently Encountered Faults

To maintain your fire extinguishers to Australian standards, it is important to watch for these common faults and defects:

  • Corrosion: this includes on the bottle, handle, pin, bracket, etc.
  • Broken handles or triggers: Broken handles can occur due to misuse of the fire extinguisher or fire blanket, general weathering and wear and tear or from the incorrect use when extinguishing a fire
  • Overdue pressure test: Fore extinguisher pressure tests should be done at least every five years to ensure the extinguisher will function properly
  • Low pressure: If the fire extinguisher pressure gauge is not in the green zone then the pressure is not correct. If this is the case then the fire extinguisher will not work effectively, if at all
  • Incorrect signage: Each fire extinguisher should be labelled correctly to show what the contents are and the class of fires that it can be used on. The location of the extinguisher should also have proper signage for quick access
  • Incorrect fire blanket use: Fire blankets are most effective for oil or fat fires, and can be useful for small flammable solids or liquid fires
  • Tampering: For example, if the pins or have been removed, or if the fire blanket is torn

fire extinguisher training. fire blanket

Fire Blankets

Fire blankets are normally found in food preparation areas and are used to tackle Class B (flammable liquid), Class F (cooking fats and oils) and Class A (carbonaceous) fires.

Fire blankets are made from highly flame-resistant woven glass fibre fabric with an inner layer of fire-retardant film. They are effective at putting out minor fires or to cloak a person whose clothing has caught alight.

Fire blankets extinguish flames by cutting off the oxygen supply and smothering the fire while protecting the person using it.

 

Fire Blanket Tips & Advice

Fire Safe ANZ always recommend training for people in high-risk situations like busy kitchens or working with flammable liquid.

However, the below steps are a general guide to how to use a fire blanket:

  • Turn off the gas/electricity supply to the flame
  • Holding the blanket by its fabric straps, wrap the top corners around your hands
  • Lay the blanket over the fire in a controlled way
  • Avoid dropping the blanket or throwing it down
  • Leave the blanket in place until no heat can be felt
  • If clothing is on fire, wrap the blanket around the area and have them roll on the ground

 

Storage is more important than you may realise. Keep your fire blanket near to the stove on an adjacent wall because you don’t want to be reaching across flames to access the blanket.

Fire blankets are single use only and should be replaced after an incident.

And remember, if the blaze is bigger than the blanket you should not attempt to put it out yourself. Move to safety and call 000 immediately.

 

Maintaining your fire extinguishers to Australian Standards

It is important to purchase the correct fire extinguisher to address the specific risks in your workplace, including fire blankets that carry the Australian Standards Mark AS 3504.

Beyond the initial purchase, regular inspections and replacements in case of fault or aging will ensure your business is as protected as possible in case of a small blaze breaking out.

 

For more information on Australian standards for fire extinguishers, fire extinguisher training or to schedule an inspection, contact the Fire Safe ANZ team today.

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