The risks of installing improperly sourced fire extinguishers

A new survey of members, conducted by Independent Fire Engineering & Distributors Association (IFEDA) has uncovered some alarming findings about the risks of fire extinguishers working improperly.

Around 75% of those surveyed stated that their companies were now coming across fire extinguishers that had been supplied from the web. For many of these companies, the IFEDA members had identified that the fire extinguishers in question had been in prominent places and intended for immediate access in the first instance of fire.

What are you at risk of?

From the point of view of our customers, fire extinguishers that are installed without proper inspection are likely to fall outside of the required ‘commissioning service’ as specified by British Standards. These extinguishers are likely to pose a risk to those intended to use them in the event of an emergency.

However, the purchase of fire extinguishers on line is not only risky due to the improper guidance during installation, but some extinguishers had even been found to have leaked in transit and unwittingly supplied empty.   

Further examples of common errors included

extinguishers placed into ‘ready to use’ locations by untrained persons without discharge hoses fitted
inappropriate extinguishers placed in areas to cover the risks present
carbon dioxide extinguishers placed into service without diffuser horns being correctly secured.

 The survey also highlighted that up to 60% of businesses and properties that had ‘self’ installed fire extinguishers did not meet even the basic requirements of BS5306 Parts 3 and Part 8.

Legal Implications

These disturbing findings have the potential, following any form of fire, for major disputes with insurance companies in the event of any claims; in the most extreme cases, not only could it result in loss of cover, but it could also involve legal action against the person or persons responsible for the procurement and installation of the faulty device, under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order (FSO).

As a consequence IFEDA is now advising all its members to make their customers aware of these findings. Monarch Fire, alongside IFEDA would strongly advise that any company or organisation that requires fire safety equipment should seek the advice of an approved fire protection specialist in the purchase and installation of equipment.

Working with us

We carry out a survey of your site to ensure you have the right equipment for the premises and will recommend what is needed to ensure you are compliant. It is essential to have the correct number and type of fire extinguishers on site for safety and compliance but we will ensure you are not buying equipment you do not need.

Although we are a friendly and relaxed bunch we take fire safety and our commitment to the best service very seriously. We focus our service in the Oxfordshire and surrounding areas but can travel further afield depending on the scope of the survey.

Inspiration for this blog taken from Fire Magazine