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Do we need a new extinguisher


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Guest Guest

We are a small office (12 people) and have two 9 litre water fire extinguishers. They are dated as purchased new in April 1989, they have never been serviced. The have a reference of TG50.

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Water extinguishers do need refilling after 5 years and usually replacing after ten years (although you could have a pressure test carried out and the extinguisher repainted etc). The British standard does not recommend having an extinguisher older than ten years. It would therefore be advisable to replace the water extinguishers you have with new ones.

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  • 2 weeks later...
Guest The Truth

@Brandon
1.-Water fire extinguishers do not need repainting
2. Water fire extinguishers do not need replacing after 10 years
3. Water fire extinguishers do not need a pressure test
4. The British Standard does not recommend to not have a water extinguisher over 10 years old

@Guest-
The Thomas Glover TG50 is a very good old extinguisher, you could get an engineer to inspect and carry out extended services, this would be a cheaper option. However, they may need replacing.

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Hi

Thanks for pointing out our error. You are right, water extinguishers neither require repainting nor pressure testing after ten years. We had this mixed up with CO2 fire extinguishers in our reply. So, yes, as long as the water extinguisher is free of corrosion, without lining defects and generally sound, there is no need to replace after ten years. Thanks for keeping watch!

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  • 7 months later...
Guest keelbatem

We are being told by the service engineer that after 4 years we will have to change our powder extinguisher as the extinguisher was manufactured almost a year before it was installed. The company selling the extinguisher told us that he is wrong and that the clock starts ticking only after the extinguisher was installed. Who is right?? And why can't extinguishers be refilled? There is nothing wrong with this extinguisher and the engineer wants to charge us £90 + VAT for a 6kg!!!

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Its 6 years from the date of manufacture or 5 years from the commissioning date which ever comes first. Providing they are not condemned they can be refilled. Section 9 of BS 5306 part 3 : 2009 show the procedure for deciding if an extinguisher needs replacing.

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Hi

at a nursery you will probably need to have extinguishers and you will have to have them maintained. Your fire risk assessment should identify the risks present at your nursery and the type of extinguishers needed. If in doubt you should request an extinguisher site survey.

Just make sure you are in the driving seat. No engineer should just turn up and try to sell you something. It is quite feasible, though, that water might be right (if there is no kitchen, gas or electrical appliances). Much broader (in the sense of what risks can be covered) fire extinguishers and even more child friendly are dry water mist extinguishers. These are certified for A and F ratings but also cover B and C risks and are safe near electrical risks.

By the way, after the initial installation and certification there will be yearly maintenance visits necessary and after 5 years the extinguishers (if they are water, powder or foam) will have to be refilled.

Harry

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  • 3 months later...
Guest Terry Morgan

Hi, just trying to make sense of what's just happened.

Engineer came to service 2 extinguishers(1 co2 and 1 water) , the nozzle broke (internal pipe inside the large nut completely sheared off) during the service. Apparently it could not be replaced because of its age, a few years ago the spec was changed and can no longer get a nozzle to fit my co2 extinguisher. Is this right?

He then told me that a new 1 would cost 87 but he would discount to 75 (its due to expire in 2014 anyway).

I refused his offer and said I would buy online to which he replied that I would still need it serviced immediately to prevent it from voiding my insurance-is this correct too?

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Hi, that sounds dodgy indeed.

To satisfy BSI standards (and possibly your insurance) you should indeed have your extinguishers commissioned AT YOUR SITE. However, you can still order online. Safelincs, for example, offer extinguishers with an on-site commissioning service, see for example 2kg CO2 extinguishers which is a lot cheaper than what you pay at the moment.

Harry

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Thanks very much for the super quick reply.

I've had a look at the nut and its actually the neck of the nozzle thats sheared off. "It just broke in my hands".

When he came back with the new nozzle which he was going to replace for free and tried to fit it, the nozzle was just very slack and would not point, this being due to the new type of fitting on my old extinguisher.

Thanks in advance,

Terry.

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Terry you say "Engineer came to service 2 extinguishers(1 co2 and 1 water)" which one are you talking about the CO2 or the water and which one has the fault? Or are you talking about a water extinguisher with a small CO2 cylinder inside the water extinguisher?

Check out http://www.safelincs.co.uk/Ultrafire-Redline-9ltr-Water-Fire-Extinguisher/ is an example of a water extinguisher and the link above is an example of a CO2 extinguisher.

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Guest Terry Morgan

Its the co2 and looking at the ones in the link,its the horn that has completely sheared off from within the nut at the top of the unit. I just can't see how this would break during service without it being manhandled.

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Thanks again Harry.

I can only send pics via mobile so would need a number.

The nut itself is 25mm across which after looking at next doors co2 appears to be standard, the difference with mine is that it is 18mm deep--several mm deeper than next doors. Both are 2kg cylinders.

Terry

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  • 3 months later...

CO2 extinguishers do not have an internal tube!

Sorry for being late in the debate, for reference co2 fire extinguishes DO have an internal tube;

co2-valve-parts.jpg

1) Handle / trigger

This is the part you squeeze to release the carbon dioxide.

2) Discharge horn

This is the part that directs the carbon dioxide

3) Main valve

This is the main valve of the extinguisher.

4) Pressure relief valve

If the pressure gets too high, this valve will automatically release, preventing the extinguisher from exploding.

5) Siphon tube.

This is where the carbon dioxide travels to get out of the main body.

6) Start of main body of extinguisher

Yes, it is sealed in the extinguisher, but to say it does not have one is wrong.

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  • 1 year later...
Guest graham

hi we are a social club ,building as 4 levels 1 room on each level ,we have a company to check the fire safety but they seem expensive ,changing the extinguishers etc ,could anyone advise on the average yearly cost and suggest any company in the nottingham area ,

thank you for any help

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  • 6 years later...

Hi Michelle

The trend is to move away from powder extinguishers indoors (although I have heard that there is an attempt to re-introduce them for some indoors applications in the standards), as the powder can be inhaled, reduces visibility and makes a mess. However, powder extinguishers don't have to be replaced before the end of their serviceable life. When it eventually comes to replacement it depends what your rooms contain. CO2 extinguishers have only a very narrow application and not great for general fire fighting, so if you have an office or retail application you would be better off with foam extinguishers that have been di-electrically tested or a water mist with de-ionised water. Both can be used on live electrical equipment up to 1000 Volt.

Harry

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It depends where it is an what it's covering. If it's in a non industrial indoor environment then usually yes as it can be deleterious to escape, health and the materials/equipment in the room.

If it's in a building where the public are present, or healthcare premises or if on an escape route I will normally ask for immediate replacement, if elsewhere then it can wait until the 5 year extended service is due - if it's covering a risk where no extinguisher is required in it's place (e.g. gas/boilers) then it can go there and then!

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  • 6 months later...
Guest Tracy

Hello

I have 9litre fire extinguishers that still hold their pressure and look to be in good order. But they are now over 10 years old.

What are the regulations for replacing them please

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They should have been serviced every year (akin to an MoT) by a trained competent person and every 5 years subjected to an Extended Service (like a 10,000 mile car service) where the extinguisher is tested by discharged, stripped down, internally examined and refilled.

Many companies will just replace the extinguisher (regardless of whether it's OK or not), although some (including myself) will still Extended Service them. Some makes and models may be obsolete after 10 year so can't be tested, but others can be 30 years old and still be  tested as still in production with parts available.

As long as they are serviced and in efficient, safe working order there is no legal shelf life.

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