Electronic monitoring of extinguishers

Published:  01 June, 2007

The National Fire Protection Association NFPA amended its codes on monitoring of fire extinguishers in September 2006. The decision to accept this technology was made at last year’s World Safety Conference and Exhibition.

The National Fire Protection Association NFPA amended its codes on monitoring of fire extinguishers in September 2006. The decision to accept this technology was made at last year’s World Safety Conference and Exhibition.
NFPA 10 and NFPA 72 required that fire extinguishers have inspections every 30 days to ensure they worked properly. Now, the fire protection/prevention industry is allowed to use electronically-monitored fire extinguishers.
The amendment of NFPA 10 and 72 is a result of the fact that the quality of these systems has greatly improved. Fire officials, end-users and members of the fire protection industry showed strong support for the acceptance of the technology.
Moreover, the system must provide record- keeping in the form of an electronic event log at the control panel and must verify that the units are appropriately pressurised, are in their correct locations and can be accessed ‘without obstruction’.
A similar policy was adopted by the International Code Council about two years ago
 Most countries in the world require regular fire extinguisher maintenance by a competent person to operate safely and effectively, as part of fire safety legislation. Lack of maintenance can lead to an extinguisher not discharging when required, or rupturing when pressurized. Deaths have occurred, even in recent times, from corroded extinguishers exploding.

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