Answer Your Fire Extinguisher Questions by Watching This video
August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDTth, August 24, 2023 at 11:58:16 AM PDT
Fire extinguishers - getting you on-board with fire safety
Fire extinguishers should be an essential part of kit in any work vehicle; ute, truck, or heavy equipment. And, of course, your workshop.
Having the right fire extinguisher ready at hand can stop a potentially very dangerous situation from escalating putting vehicles, plant, property, and even lives, in serious jeopardy.
Vehicles, worksites, and workshops present more than their fair share of fire hazards due to elevated electrical and fuel-related risks. Then, factor in human error and environmental considerations, and you can understand why fire extinguishers are critical.
We understand if you have questions about fire extinguishers and their standards, sizes, uses ect so we have made this video to answer all the most common FAQ's or keep reading to enlarge even further.
Meeting the standards
TransQuip has an extensive range of fire extinguishers designed for vehicles and workshops. All are fully compliant with New Zealand and Australian certification, standards, and requirements.
New Zealand Health and Safety at Work (2017) legislation details businesses' obligations and responsibilities regarding the provision of fire extinguishers. You can check them out in detail here
TransQuip strongly recommends that fire extinguishers should be always carried in all vehicles and on all heavy machinery.
Know your A, B, and Es.
A, B and E relate to the various Class of fires that the fire extinguisher can safely be used to put out.
- Class A is for textiles, wood, and paper.
- Class B for combustible liquids (fuels)
- Class E (called Class C in some countries) is for electrical fires.
You'll find these letters on the side of the fire extinguisher and the corresponding symbols on the green stickers above.
Which fire extinguisher type do I need?
When an accident suddenly occurs, you could be facing any type of fire hazards. At TransQuip, we'd recommend being ready to deal with every type of fire, rather than just one particular type of fire.
For example, a dry chemical fire extinguisher (Class B) is rated for combustible fluids - petrol, diesel, and oil. It's your multipurpose friend whenever a vehicle or equipment fire breaks out. It is filled with a repellent material to quell different types of flames including those caused by flammable liquids, battery failure, or faulty electrical and mechanical components. The powder in the extinguisher smothers the base of the fire and blocks vapour from escaping, extinguishing the fire.
For use in a diesel truck, this is generally what you should be looking for.
Water-based fire extinguishers (Class A) are fine for solid material fires - including paper and wood. But are not suited to electrical fires (for obvious reasons) or fires involving combustible fuels - such as oil, diesel, or petrol.
Class E fire extinguishers are specialist fire extinguishers that will not damage electrical equipment.
What sizes are fire extinguishers available in?
TransQuip has a range of sizes (weights) of fire extinguishers ranging from 1kg up to 9kgs. Fire extinguishers of 1kg, 1.5kg, 2kg, and 2.5kg are suitable for small to medium applications. While for larger machinery and trucks, and workshop areas, there are 4.5kg and 9kg options.
One of the important factors determining the size of the fire extinguisher that should be purchased is the size of the vehicle. Fire extinguishers must be stored upright and, in a space, where they are easily accessible. Always select the biggest option that will fit into your vehicle without getting in the way. It is better to have more capacity than less. No one wants an extinguisher to run out before the fire is out!
Do fire extinguishers come with a bracket?
Fire extinguishers up to 2.5kgs come with a back bracket - all ready to be mounted in a vehicle, or on a wall.
For fire extinguishers over 2.5kgs, TransQuip have a specialist vehicle mounting bracket available for sale separately.
How about hoses?
All extinguishers, except for the small, 1kg extinguisher, come with hoses that allow the extinguisher's discharge to be directed at the fire. The 1kg extinguisher has a little nozzle for the same purpose.
How do I store a fire extinguisher outside?
TransQuip have robust, weatherproof fire extinguisher boxes which can be mounted as required, for example on the side of the truck to allow for quick access.
How long do fire extinguishers last? Can they be refilled?
Fire extinguishers have an initial life of five years. After this, or after discharge, the extinguisher must be pressure tested before it can be re-filled by a trained technician. Please note: It's not economical to refill extinguishers smaller than 2kgs.
Tagging, servicing, certification, and inspections
You'll find the original certified date and legal details engraved into the metal on the ring around the base of the fire extinguisher.
Once a year, the extinguisher will need to be checked by a certified fire extinguisher tester. The date of that service check will then be "clipped" on the yellow service tag which is affixed to your fire extinguisher when it is purchased.
Every five years, the extinguisher must be re-certified. It will be emptied and re-tested by a specialist cylinder tester. This will be recorded by engraving in the base of the extinguisher.
Visual inspections of all fire extinguishers are also recommended - just like checking any aspect of vehicle or equipment safety.
- Check there is no visible damage - dents, scratches etc.
- Check the service tag is up to date and the service record is complete
- Check the tamper-proof seal is intact
- Make sure the pressure gauge is in the green.
Getting it right - for your clients. How to avoid on site issues.
At least one major job we're aware of was held up because the fire extinguisher on the large equipment required on site didn't meet the very specific minimum service period required by that client's Health and Safety. Always double-check what's needed!
Keeping yourself (and others) safe
New Zealand's terrain is often difficult and we often work in remote locations - so professional fire-fighting help may not always be close at hand. The extremely hot dry summers in many regions don't do us any favours either. Remember: Just one spark from metal hitting a stone can create a fast-spreading grass fire in seconds. Always know the fire danger for any area of the country you're working in. And remember, conditions can change quickly. See here for details
Never put yourself or anyone else in danger when fighting a fire. Especially if it is not life threatening. Vehicles and even property can be replaced. Lives can't.
If a vehicle catches alight. Turn off the engine immediately and look after any other occupants before considering fighting the fire. If fuel or flammable substances are involved, get as far away as possible, as fast as possible. Don't endanger lives by staying to fight the fire.
If in any doubt, call 111.
For the full range of fire extinguishers, signage and related products click here
Or ask the knowledgeable TransQuip team for advice, they're always happy to help.