BS5306:3 2009 is a British Standard Code of Practice that gives detailed recommendations on current best practice for the commissioning, installation, service and maintenance of fire extinguishers.
Unlike the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, (RRO), BS 5306:3 2009 is not a mandatory or Statutory legal instrument however most professional Service and Maintenance companies operate to this Code of Practice and issue Certificates of Compliance to BS 5306:3 2009 for the work done.
Initial Service (Commissioning) of Extinguishers
If you are a business and elect to operate your Fire Safety Management System in compliance with BS5306:3 2009 you should note this Code of Practice recommends that new fire extinguishers should be subjected to an Initial Service (Commissioning) on site and immediately prior to installation. A competent person, for example your Fire Safety Officer or a Service & Maintenance Contractor, formally trained or experienced in Fire Extinguisher Maintenance should undertake this work.
A record of the Service including the due date of the next Service (normally 12 months hence) should be made in your Fire Log Book and / or on a Maintenance Label affixed to the Fire Extinguisher. Irrespective of whether you opt for compliance with BS5306:3 2009, if your Business employs 5 or more people you have a legal responsibility under the RRO to maintain a record of your fire safety procedures, equipment and service schedules to demonstrate all reasonable steps have been taken to ensure the equipment is effective and in efficient working condition.
BS 5306:3 2009 includes detailed guidelines on recommended Service intervals for different types of fire extinguisher. For commonly used extinguishers the normal recommended interval between services is 12 months. After 5 years (10yrs for CO2 fire extinguishers) an Extended Service that may include a test discharge is required. You should ensure your Service and Maintenance schedule complies with these guidelines. Note that we advise you to compare the cost of Extended Servicing with the cost of purchasing new equipment from Fire and Safety Centre.
Key compliance requirements
Irrespective of whether you choose to operate to BS5306:3 2009, employ external Contractors for Service or conduct Servicing at the recommended intervals, if you are a Business you must be able to demonstrate to a Fire Safety Inspector that you have a “suitable system of maintenance” and have taken appropriate actions “so far as is reasonably practicable” to safeguard your premises, employees and visitors from fire.