Why do I need hand operated firefighting equipment?
  • To protect people, property, and equipment from damage or injury by fire.
  • To prevent a small fire from becoming a big fire. Statistics from studies in Australia, USA and Europe show that 80% of fires are put out by hand operated fire fighting equipment.

What are the implications of not having hand-operated fire protection in my commercial premises?
  • Should a fire not be able to be extinguished soon after it’s inception the number of resultant damage increases rapidly resulting in more repair costs & often more downtime. When your products & services cannot be provided by your company your clients who still require these products & services have to go elsewhere. Studies have shown that once your clients strike up a commercial relationship with another company less than 50% of them will return their business to you.
  • If you do not have hand operated firefighting equipment your insurance company may decline your insurance coverage or charge higher premiums
  • Should an incident occur which could have been prevented if you had provided a hand operated firefighting equipment you could be prosecuted under various pieces of legislation.

Why do I need to maintain our hand operated firefighting equipment when we haven’t even used it?
  • To ensure that it will work as effectively as it can if required.
  • Firefighting equipment can lose extinguishing agent &/or propellant affecting the performance of the equipment.
  • Sometimes firefighting equipment has tampered with this can result in loss of pressure, damage & even leave the equipment in such a state as to present a danger to those around it.
  • Foreign objects can lodge themselves in the mechanisms e.g. gravel from town water mains repairs can end up in fire hose reels & mason bees in fire extinguisher discharge hoses.
  • Environmental conditions can cause damage rendering the firefighting equipment inoperable e.g. corroded operating handles on fire equipment.
  • In order to comply with your insurance conditions.
  • In order to comply with Council requirements.
  • In order to comply with fire service requirements.
  • In order to comply with Government legislation.

How often is hand operated firefighting equipment used?
  • Current statistics based on overseas research figures suggest that hand-operated firefighting equipment is used to extinguish about 5000 fires a year in New Zealand.
  • Only a small percentage of fires where portable fire extinguishers are used get reported as people do not want to expose their companies to higher insurance premiums, potential investigations or possible penalties from the relevant authorities.

If it is not used why does a fire extinguisher need to be hydro-tested at 5 yearly intervals?
  • As fire extinguishers are pressurized vessels they are covered by the same compressed gases regulations as dive cylinders & LPG cylinders which require periodic hydro-testing.

How do we tell where the hand-operated fire equipment is & which type of fire it can be used on?
  • Fire equipment locations are required to be identified by the use of blazon signs.
  • For use instructions are on the blazons included in those instructions are the types of fires that the fire equipment can be used on.
  • The blazons for use instructions are printed on a triangle with a color-coded background according to the extinguishing agent that is in the fire equipment e.g. foam has a blue background, white is used for ABE dry powder.
  • On the fire extinguisher, it should state the extinguishing agent & the types of fire that it can be used on. On later model extinguishers, this should be in both written & pictorial form.

Can we lock up the fire equipment so it doesn’t go missing or get tampered with?
  • No as a first aid appliance it needs to be easily located & accessible especially as the window of opportunity to put out a fire with hand operated fire fighting equipment & prevent significant damage is generally limited.
  • There are audible alarms & break-glass cabinets that can be used with most hand-operated firefighting equipment to minimize the risk of the equipment being tampered with or going missing.

Call now for a no obligation fire safety consultation. 0800 347 392

Other information

Other Information

WHY DO I NEED HAND OPERATED FIRE FIGHTING EQUIPMENT? Do read the answer to this and other questions.
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