A Guide to Australian Fire Extinguisher Compliance
Workplace health and safety is a high priority for all employers. Regardless of the industry your business is in, there are potential risks and hazards that can cause injury to personnel. Understanding and minimising those risks is essential for occupational health and safety compliance.
One of the most important aspects workplace safety is fire extinguisher compliance. Fires can occur in any workplace, so adequate preparation is essential to ensure employee wellbeing.
Here are some of the aspects of fire safety compliance that you need to be aware of:
Australian Standard fire extinguishers
Fire extinguisher compliance requires the use of Australian Standard fire extinguishers.
All Australian Standard fire extinguishers must be independently tested by an accredited Certification Body that has been approved by the Joint Accreditation System for Australia and New Zealand (JAS-ANZ).
There are several different certification bodies that are recognised by the JAS-ANZ. Every fire extinguisher in Australian homes and workplaces must carry a sticker indicating that it has been certified by one of these bodies.
The certification process includes:
- Compliance with strict standards of safety and effectiveness
- Rigorous testing to ensure the quality of the manufacturing
- On-site inspection of the factory and assessment of the manufacturing process
The certification process ensures all Australian Standard fire extinguishers meet the high standards of safety and reliability required of fire safety equipment.
Using the right type of fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers can be filled with a variety of different fire suppressant materials, each of which is designed to combat different types of fires. The classification of a fire primarily depends on the fuel that it is burning.
Fire extinguisher compliance requires you to install the right type or types of fire extinguishers in your workplace. This requires a technical understanding of the types of fires that are most likely to occur in that environment and the fire suppressant material that is best suited to combatting those fires.
For example, in an office environment, the most likely types of fire to occur will involve ordinary combustibles such as paper, wood and cardboard (class A), or electrical fires (class E). Therefore, the best type of fire extinguishers for this environment would be ones loaded with dry chemical powder since it can be used safely on both class A and E fires.
Signage and installation
Fire extinguishers must be visible and easily accessible at all times. This means that there are strict regulations regarding the placement of fire extinguishers and related signage within the workplace.
Fire extinguishers must be mounted at a maximum height of 1200mm between the floor and the top of the extinguisher handle, and a minimum height of 100mm between the floor and the bottom of the extinguisher.
Signage indicating the location of fire extinguishers must be at least 2000mm above floor level and must be located to provide maximum visibility to a person of average height and visual acuity. The signage must be red with white imagery and lettering to comply with Australian Standard (AS) 2700.
Fire extinguishers must be visible and easily accessible at all times.
In the event of an emergency such as a fire, you must ensure that your employees and all visitors in your premises are able to evacuate quickly and safely.
To facilitate this, you must have a written emergency evacuation plan and a diagram of the plan must be on display.
The evacuation diagram must show the floor plan of the premises and clearly display the locations of the sign ("you are here"), exits, assembly areas, and fire equipment such as extinguishers and hose reels.
Your employees should be familiar with the evacuation plan so that they are well prepared in the event of an emergency. You should also practice your evacuation plan at regular intervals, such as every six months.
Fire extinguisher compliance advice
Bulbeck Fire Industries can provide you with specialist fire safety and compliance advice. We will ensure that your workplace meets all relevant fire safety standards with solutions that are tailored for your premises.
We manufacture and supply a range of Australian Standard fire extinguishers, hose reels, mounting brackets, and compliant signage.
Get expert advice on fire extinguisher compliance for your workplace, call our team on 1800 530 401.
Bulbeck Fire on 27 April 2017
Find out everything you need to know about vehicle fire suppression systems commonly used in Australia today. Includes information regarding fire suppression systems for buses, boats and more. ...Read more
Bulbeck Fire on 25 November 2016
There are other fire extinguisher suppliers and then there's Bulbeck Fire. Find out what makes us different ...Read more