How Often Do Fire Extinguishers Need To Be Tested?

March 26, 2021

There are few things more dangerous than a fire. Whether it’s in a kitchen or a conference room, fires can start anywhere and for many different reasons. Fire extinguishers not only provide businesses peace of mind but they can also save lives. There are many different types of fires, depending on the source, and they all require their own type of fire extinguisher to put out the fire in the safest and most effective way possible. 

Fire extinguishers are a vital fire safety tool for businesses large and small. They are a requirement by law and they are your first line of defence if a fire breaks out. It can be easy to forget or overlook extinguishers, but there are regulations in place that you need to follow to ensure fire extinguishers are up to code and in working order. So, how often do fire extinguishers need to be tested? 

It’s best to have a process in place to stay on top of regular testing, whether this is someone in the business who stays on top of it or the easier option of having a dedicated fire service specialist to provide regular testing.

At Brisbane Fire Services, we provide everything from fire extinguishers and installation services, all the way to regular inspections and maintenance of these essential fire safety devices. 


How often do fire extinguishers need to be tested?


Queensland fire extinguisher testing requirements (under AS1851, section 10 of the Building Code of Australia (BCA) & Australian Standards) state that portable and wheeled fire extinguishers require inspection and testing on a six (6) monthly basis. On top of this, pressure testing is required at five year periods, plus recharging of the extinguisher if it is discharged. These pressure tests and certifications need to be carried out by a licenced cylinder test station. 

Extinguishers are required by law to be installed in Queensland workplaces. They control the spread of fire in emergency situations and limit the damage caused. The use of a fire extinguisher can be the difference between a close call and a destructive emergency situation. 

Other fire safety equipment also requires regular testing, such as fire blankets, fire hoses, fire detection and alarm systems, and emergency and exit lighting. All of these items work together to maintain a safe workplace and business and should be kept up to standard and in working order to ensure the lives of your staff and yourself are protected. 


Types of fires and fire extinguishers

Fires can have many different sources, and each needs a specific fire extinguisher to put them out. If the wrong extinguisher is used, it can be ineffective, and at worst, even more dangerous. Portable fire extinguishers have a range of different sizes and ratings. These ratings indicate the size of fire they can be used on; ie. the higher the rating, the larger the fire it can be used on. 

Each type of extinguisher may be rated for one or more classes of fire. Larger and heavier extinguishers however, (which are generally rated higher) can be tough for some people to handle, particularly people of a lighter build. All businesses should also have fire safety training in place for their staff to ensure everyone knows what to do in the case of a fire. 

In Australia, there are six classes of fire, and each indicates the source or material involved. The six classes are:

  • Class A – Ordinary combustibles
  • Class B – Flammable liquids
  • Class C – Flammable gases
  • Class D – Combustible metals
  • Class E – Electrical equipment
  • Class F – Cooking oils and fats

Knowing what kind of fire extinguisher and extinguishing equipment you need for the different classes of fires can be confusing. That’s why it’s safest to get help and advice from fire specialists, who have the most accurate knowledge of requirements and fire safety methods. They can advise you of what you’ll need in your business, provide expert advice, and install and maintain all your fire safety equipment for you.


Why choose Brisbane Fire Services?

Brisbane Fire Services experienced technicians provide regular 6 month fire extinguisher testing for all extinguishers, hydrants and hose reels in accordance with the QLD development code MP6.1, Building Fire Safety Regulation 2008 and all relevant Australian Standards. This means you don’t have to worry about testing or remembering when it’s due, we manage everything for you from start to finish.

We also supply and install a wide range of fire extinguishers, fire hydrants and hose reels for businesses, so we are the perfect one stop shop when it comes to fire safety.

We hope this article has answered your question “How often do fire extinguishers need to be tested?”. If you have any further questions about this or our services, get in touch with our team today here or give us a call on 0499 198 427.

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