The importancy of the proper maintenence of on board fire extinguishers
All ship classification societies in the world require regular fire extinguisher maintenance by a competent person in order to ensure their safely and effectively operation. Fire happens and timely reaction with proper devices is a crucial issue. All the extinguishers and fire fighting facilities must be always in good order – easy available, ready for use, simple to operate and highly effective.
Lack of maintenance can lead to an extinguisher not discharging when required or rupturing when pressurized. Fire fighting systems may not start and that would cause a lot of material disability and damages, human injuries or loses. Deaths have occurred, even in recent times in normal working conditions, from corroded extinguishers and fire fighting systems exploding. Therefore regular inspections are needed to ensure the units are pressurized and unobstructed.
The annual inspections by qualified technicians are required. Hydrostatic pressure testing for almost all types of extinguishers is also required, generally every five years for water and CO2 models up to every 5 years for dry chemical models.