Can I replace my existing traditional fire extinguishers, in our office with the Fire Safety Stick instead?

 

“That way I can save money on external servicing costs, as well as probably a better, more versatile solution”

Well, it’s not necessarily impossible but it’s certainly not something you can quickly and easily do. Please make sure you read the following carefully first.

Firstly, we must clarify a few things…

The fire safety regulations and guidelines are quite complicated with many not really fully understanding the requirements. There are certainly many misconceptions. The senior management team here at Fire Safety Stick have many years of experience within the fire safety industry. Our MD used to own one of the UK’s leading fire safety companies, not only installing fire alarms, smoke ventilation and other life safety systems but also the supply, installation and servicing of commercially installed fire extinguishers. As a result, we have based our installation and inspections based upon industry guidelines and recommendations by organisations such as BAFE (British Approvals for Fire Excellence/Equipment). As well as the legislation covered by the Regulatory Reform Order 2005.

Secondly, let’s consider the location. We are considering all non-domestic or commercial premises – or to simply it, non-private dwellings. Such as offices, warehouses, clubhouses even churches, situated within the UK.

In the case of commercial vehicles, then installing the fire safety stick as the fire extinguisher is a much simpler process, providing the vehicles do not come under the governance of ADR – transport of dangerous goods or are PSV – public service vehicles)

Also, another crucial point to note is that the Fire Safety Stick is not a pressurised container fire extinguisher unlike nearly all other extinguishers available in the world. Inside is a solid resin which remains so until activation. Therefore, the usual British Kitemark for which all pressurised extinguishers must have in the UK is not relevant here. (For more information about the Fire Safety Stick and its certifications, please see here.)

In order to replace existing traditional fire extinguishers with the Fire Safety Stick, the responsible person for the business must go through the following steps which can be quite involved. We have successfully completed the process for our own premises and a very small number of others have done so. But we believe, until the knowledge and understanding of this innovative fire extinguisher is better known across the country, including by the fire safety industry, it may make much better sense to simply have the Fire Safety Sticks installed as well as existing traditional units, and simply have the sticks as that first line of defence.

The steps needed:

New Fire Risk Assessment,

An updated Fire Risk Assessment needs to be carried out by a qualified, independent fire risk assessor. The assessor should have a thorough understanding of the product. Unfortunately, many assessors are not fully aware of the Fire Safety Stick and so may have some understandable ignorance around it. However, if you do need an introduction to an independent fire risk assessor who has taken the initiative to investigate this new technology, we can introduce you to several different ones based around the country. The fire risk assessor will advise whether it is realistic to have the Fire Safety Stick installed in the premises or not.

An updated fire safety strategy

If a suitable fire risk assessment has been created for the Fire Safety Stick installations, then the premises fire safety strategy must be updated accordingly.

Insurance approval

The insurance company covering the premises should be informed and give their approval to the new “fire fighting equipment” to be installed onsite, or at least confirm that they have no objections against it, and they should be happy that the revised fire safety strategy is adhered to in the event of a fire.

Inspection and approval by your local Fire and Rescue Service.

The regional fire brigade will make regular visits to non-private dwellings/premises and they must be satisfied that the premises are fire-safe. Of course, again with the Fire Safety Stick being a relatively new fire extinguisher to the UK market, the individual fire officers may not be initially familiar with it, however as more and more regional fire services start to carry it for their own use, knowledge will become more widespread.

Installation suggestion

Of course, it is important that the correct installation in these non-domestic environments. The additional suggestions for the Fire Safety Stick PRO over the regular sticks include:

  • Fitted Tamper tag to protect the bottom striker cap.
  • Installation Date and Maintenance inspection anniversary stickers
  • Correct Fire Extinguisher signage
  • And of course a Maintenance inspection log

Further details of these can be found here: Installation for FSS PRO

Maintenance Guidelines.

The Fire Safety Stick Pro does not require servicing (typically by external fire safety companies).

For non-domestic installations, it is crucial that regular maintenance inspections are carried out and documented. In the case of premises this should be at least annually, in the case of commercial vehicles, we would recommend more often.

Full details about how to carry out these maintenance inspections are shown here:

How to carry out Maintenance Inspections

A typical commercial (Fire Safety Stick PRO) installation with signage, tamper tag and installation stickers fitted. The Inspection log book is used to document the visual maintenance inspections carried out by the responsible person.

Need further information, not answered above – please contact us info@firesafetystick.com