Here's why you should choose an extinguisher with StandardsMark certification

Bulbeck Fire on 17 November 2016

Every fire service supplier claims to stock the best fire extinguisher on the market.

Proving it, on the other hand - not so easy.

sai global standardsmark certification 5 ticks

That's because proof requires a third party to back up those claims. It requires a scientific approach - hard facts and figures. Perhaps a litmus test that confirms claims of superior performance. And there's one certification that ticks all of those boxes - SAI Global's StandardsMark.

Colloquially known as the "five ticks", SAI Global's StandardsMark is world-renowned as a benchmark for rating excellence. In fact, the seal of approval boasts an 82% general awareness level in Australia.

Those awareness levels are no accident - they are thanks to SAI Global establishing themselves over many decades as the authority in rating quality, reliability and safety standards.

So when an extinguisher carries the StandardsMark "five ticks", it means you're getting the best fire extinguisher possible in terms of those stringent standards.

And when you see the hurdles that fire extinguisher has had to clear, you begin to realise why...

What's the approval process? 

Step 1 - Research

Everything worth doing starts with planning. And the StandardsMark accreditation process is no different. Before SAI Global will consider rating an extinguisher, they encourage applicants to research the market requirements for fire extinguishers: "Before applying for certification, you should make an assessment of whether the product is likely to meet the standard."

"In many cases, a product may be required to meet a number of standards or specifications; in others, a minimum level of assurance may be required."

Step 2 - Product design

During the " design verification" stage, SAI Global assess a fire extinguisher sample unit for compliance with the relevant product specifications and standard. This includes:

  • Document review – SAI Global reviews the quality of the extinguisher's design and manufacture. They ensure appropriate controls are in place to address risks to designated standards or specifications.
  • Quality plan implementation – On site rating by SAI Global’s independent experts takes place to ensure that the quality plan is effectively implemented in practice to achieve ongoing compliance.

Step 3 - Sampling plan

A sampling plan will be agreed to, and the extinguisher is tested by a recognised laboratory (normally NATA accredited or equivalent). SAI Global technical staff assess the evidence of compliance of the design and performance against the nominated standard or specification.

Certificates have a defined life, requiring full resubmission for testing at the end of the specified time or if any significant modifications are made to the product.

If there are changes to the product or the standard, additional testing may be required.

Step 4 - Quality plan

The areas a quality plan must address include:

  • Extinguisher design changes
  • Purchase and acquisition of components and subassemblies
  • Process control and assignment of specialist tasks
  • Inspection and test programs, including those nominated by the particular standard or specification
  • Personnel training programs

Step 5 - Prepare for the certification audit

Crunch time. All processes documented in the quality plan must be in place and effectively implemented.

Independent SAI Global experts then come and audit the factory where the extinguishers are produced. This certification audit determines whether systems and processes will consistently manufacture extinguishers that comply with the rating standard.

Step 6 - Ongoing assessment and monitoring

To ensure the ongoing compliance of quality production processes, SAI Global conduct periodic factory audits. Regular assessments, both of the product itself in batch production and of the manufacturing site, verify that quality plans are being maintained and the extinguishers continue to comply with the standard.

Congratulations. After clearing these six hurdles, you can now legitimately claim to sell one of the best fire extinguishers on the market.

It's this exact process that allows BFI to make this claim. When we say we supply the best fire extinguishers, that claim is backed by the SAI Global StandardsMark "five ticks". So if you're looking for first-rate fire equipment, give us a call on 1800 530 401. We'll be happy to advise which of our market -leading solutions best fits your needs.