Read 05maintenance_extinguisher.pdf text version

extract from ,,Brandschutzspezial Feuerlöschgeräte / löschmittel / löschwassertechnik" (Fire protection special Mobile) 2010. bvfa ­ Bundesverband technischer Brandschutz, Koellikerstraße 13, d-97070 Würzburg, [email protected],

Regular inspection of fire extinguisher equipment is not only important in commercial environments (where it is a stipulation).

safety only with regular maintenance

Maintenance of fire extinguishers and water supply lines/ wall hydrants

Fire extinguishers can only fulfil their purpose, that of protecting people`s lives und material assets from fire, when they are kept in serviceable condition. this is a mandatory stipulation for most fire extinguishers, such as those in commercial businesses, but is just as necessary and highly recommended (for technical reasons) for those purchased voluntary. Water supply lines/wall hydrants are generally required by building legislation (state law) and are used in firefighting by laymen and also serve as a supplementary water supply for the fire service. regular maintenance of these systems is required to safeguard the function and safety of these life-saving appliances for users.

Maintenance of fire extinguishers is carried out in accordance with mandatory regulations different to those for extinguishing water equipment. The different methods and requirements are discussed below. es in regulations, in official decrees and in court judgements, etc. Anyone issuing invitations for tender for the maintenance of fire extinguishers in the commercial sector in Germany always references DIN 14406-4 (with the consequence that this standard is legally binding in Germany). DIN 14406-4 details the individual maintenance steps necessary for charge and continuous pressure extinguishers. However, it is still "only" a basic standard because it stipulates under 5.1: "The maintenance instructions applicable for the extinguisher must take precedence for conducting maintenance work". Manufacturers' maintenance instructions For every fire extinguisher model available from a manufacturer (some have over 100 models on the market at the same time), there are separate maintenance instructions detailing how the extinguisher must be maintained. These include, for example, sectional views and replacement part lists, any special features to note, which agent must be used for refilling, etc., etc. The maintenance instructions are part of the approval of a fire extinguisher and hence belong to every appliance model. Experts for fire extinguisher maintenance Maintenance standard DIN 14406-4 de-

how is a fire extinguisher maintained expertly?

Basic standard DIN 14406-4 DIN 14406-4 Part 4 forms the basis for maintenance ­ a standard introduced in Germany decades ago and defining the details of maintenance. Although this is "only" a DIN standard, it has become a recognised de-facto norm through the many referenc-



Brandschutzspezial | Feuerlöschgeräte · Löschmittel · Löschwassertechnik


scribed above not only defines the maintenance steps, it also specifies the requirements made of maintenance personnel (very unusual in DIN norms). The person authorised to maintain fire extinguishers is called the technical expert. under the terms of section 4.1 of the standard, the technical expert requires a minimum of 3 months internal training and must then provide evidence of a successfully completed training course. The technical expert then receives from the employer the technical expert legitimation (section 4.2 of DIN 14406-4). Maintenance verification A precisely defined sticker must be completed and affixed to the fire extinguisher by the technical expert specifying the date of the service, the internal inspection of the fire extinguisher and the recurring inspection in accordance with BetrsichV (see box), including the name and ID number of the technical expert/qualified person. The dimensions and inscriptions have a fixed definition. Quality of technical expert courses ­ quality approved to RAL-GZ 974 For the quality of the technical expert, it is of course essential that the technical expert training attended must also have a high quality standard. Gütegemeinschaft Handbetätigte Geräte zur Brandbekämpfung (GrIF) e.V. (Quality control association for hand-operated firefighting equipment), headquartered in würzburg, Germany, has been controlling the quality assurance for technical expert courses for more than 15 years. Those carrying Quality Mark No.1 from GrIF e.V. (rAL-GZ 974-1) guarantee having attended a quality-approved technical expert course of at least one week's duration with a precisely set and very high standard of syllabus. The technical expert is able to document the successfully completed "GrIF course" with a certificate showing the quality mark (see box on Page 28). Qualified persons as per TRBS 1203 In the analogy between DIN 14406-4 and workplace safety ordinance BetrsichV (see the "Portable fire extinguishers in the company" article), qualified persons (in accordance with BetrsichV) were defined and reference was made to the fact that their requirements are specified in TrBs 1203. The practise of maintaining fire extinguish-


Maintenance of portable fire extinguishers ­ ????? umfang der inspektion

The inspection must assess: be assessed with absolute certainty on continuous pressure extinguishers with powder as the agent without opening the extinguishing agent cylinder (personal responsible of the technical expert), the extinguishing agent cylinder must be opened within a time frame no longer than 4 years. Note 6.2.4. · Signs of damage and corrosion on safety/overpressure mechanisms · Seal contact areas and seals · Signs of damage and corrosion, and obstacles, in channels and connections through which extinguishing agent and/or propellant are/is transported · Pressure and amount of propellant on rechargeable extinguishers

· General condition, cleanliness · Readability, completeness and correctness of inscriptions · Instruments, pipes and fuses · When inspection dates are due (to BetrSichV) · External and internal protective paint/coating (i.e. signs of corrosion) · Damage to plastic moulded parts (e.g. breakages, deformation, tears, discolouring) · Activation and interruption mechanisms · Mass of volume of extinguishing agent · Mechanical damage and obstructions to threaded connections · Subsequent usability or reusability of the agent and condition of the interior · Visual inspection of the extinguishing agent cylinder (not for carbon dioxide). even if this can

Further actions: · Re-establish a state of functional readiness for the extinguisher (with maintenance if required); Also inspect continuous pressure extinguishers for leak tightness; · Affix inscriptions after maintenance (see Section 6) and/or filling (see section 7); change labelling in accordance with DIN eN 3-7 where applicable; · Inspect the extinguisher holder (if accessible during maintenance) for proper condition.

Source: DIN 14406-4:2009-10 Portable Fire Extinguishers ­ Part 4: Maintenance


Maintenance verification ­ annex B of din 14406-4: 2009-10

General maintenance verification

Diagram B1 ­ Maintenance/inspection verification without field for next service

Maintenance verification combined with verification of conducting last inspection to BetrsichV

Diagram B2 ­ Maintenance/inspection verification with field for next service



Brandschutzspezial | Feuerlöschgeräte · Löschmittel · Löschwassertechnik



GriF e. V.

hand-operated appliances for firefighting ­ maintenance guidelines and specialist courses

Anrequirements of the textual and content-based parts of maintenance guidelines of fire extinguisher equipment and requirements of the alignment of specialist courses in the use and maintenance of hand-operated appliances for firefighting.

ers clearly shows that the technical expert (in accordance with DIN 14406-4) must also satisfy the prerequisites of the qualified person (in accordance with TrBs 1203) if this person is tasked with inspecting fire extinguishers (and subsequently also with maintenance). since BetrsichV came into force, most technical experts involved in the business of maintenance have successfully completed the advanced "Qualified person" course. This qualification is absolutely essential for the technical expert to be able to properly carry out the required activities. Accordingly, GrIF e.V. (Quality control association) has extended its courses and is subjecting its trainers to annual training at TÜV. Quality is a proactive process and needs to develop continually ­ this is why GrIF training institutions are the best for quality courses for technical experts. For operators looking to satisfy themselves that technical experts are qualified persons in the sense of BetrsichV, it is all very simple. If the technical expert has a certificate with the GrIF logo which is not older than 5 years, the operator has the guarantee of having a fully trained technical expert. This is because, since that time, GrIF training institutions no longer train technical experts who do not also satisfy the "Qualified person" requirements in accordance with TrBs 1203.

inspecting the water supply lines is not enough!

What does maintenance mean exactly? According to DIN 31051, in conjunction with DIN eN 13306, maintenance is the "combination of all technical and administrative measures of management during

the life cycle of a unit to preserve the operational condition, or the feedback into it, such that it can fulfil the required function". In DIN 13306, the term "maintenance" comprises of the following four components: 1. Inspection: comprises of measures for ascertainment and assessment of the actual condition of the unit in question including determination of the causes of wear and derivation of the consequences necessary for future use (e.g. with visual inspection of condition, measurement of flow rate, pressure testing) 2. Servicing: Includes the measures for preserving the nominal condition (e.g. by adjusting, cleaning, rinsing) 3. Repair: Includes the measures to return the unit in question to the operational state, with the exception of improvements (e.g. by replacing defective components and seals, repairs) 4. Improvement: Includes the combination of all technical and administrative measures, and management actions, to increase the functional reliability of the unit in question without altering the function required of it The inspection period, specified by legal norm in individual states in accordance with the technical inspection ordinances (e.g. § 2, section 1 PrüfVo Nrw in conjunction with the addendums for § 1 and § 2) simply includes the circumstances mentioned in 1, i.e. under the terms of § 2 section 2, in conjunction with § 5 section 1 PrüfVo Nrw, legislation only stipulates ascertainment and assessment of the current situation. Measures following on from this are, as laid down in § 2 section 2, 3 in conjunction with § 5 section 1, 4, are expressly no longer a matter for the appraiser/technical expert conducting the inspection and are instead a matter for the operator (customer). As with MoT testing stipulated for vehicles, legislation stipulates inspection but not servicing or repair. The operator (as with a vehicle) commits to ensuring continued functional reliability of the system. For example, wall hydrants stipulated by official requirements must not only be present, they must also be operational and failsafe at all times. continued functional readiness and reliability of water supply lines/ wall hydrants is guaranteed with servicing (2 above) and maintenance (3 above). Applicable here are recognised codes of practise, i.e. standards DIN eN 671-3 and DIN

14462 for water supply lines/wall hydrants. These standards apply in conjunction with the maintenance instructions from the manufacturers. According to these standards, maintenance must be carried out annually unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer.


Ordinance on the testing of technical installations, recurrent testing of special buildings (prüfVO nrW) from november 24th 2009; publisher: Ministry for town planning and housing, culture and sport, state of north rhine Westphalia.

The ministry writes the following on this inspection ordinance: The risk of fire is particularly high in certain special buildings. Here, the fire protection precautions are often implemented with smoke detectors and extraction systems. If there is a high risk potential, it is an absolute requirement to stipulate specific technical installations and to inspect them continually in regard to functional operability and fire protection safety. This is guaranteed after 28.12.2009 by the inspection ordinance (PrüfVo Nrw) decreed by the state government which acts upon the rulings of the technical inspection ordinance (TPrüfVo Nrw), applicable up to 28.12.2009. The buildings to be inspected and the installations subject to mandatory inspection are stated in § 1. The inspections must be carried out by appraisers. These inspection appraisers must be officially approved. In North rhinewestphalia, this approval is pronounced by the regional government of Dusseldorf, Dept. 35. For the inspections to be conducted according to the same criteria, there are appropriate principles for the inspection of technical installation by appraisers ­ the inspection principles. They contain information on scope and content of tests and must be followed during testing. The inspection principles are only published in the electronic version of the relevant Law and ordinance Gazette for the state of North rhine-westphalia and in the systematic collection of all applicable laws and ordinances of the state of Nrw (GV no. 34 s 723 ff., link here). Besides the testing of technical installations (Part 1 of the inspection ordinance), Part 2 of the inspection ordinance contains a summary of the regulations for recurrent tests by the building inspection authorities from previous special building ordinances.



Brandschutzspezial | Feuerlöschgeräte · Löschmittel · Löschwassertechnik


Legally binding rules for the maintenance of extinguishing water equipment Because it is clear that inspection of the extinguishing water technology (e.g. to PrüfVo Nrw) does not help in ensuring long-term functional reliability of the extinguishing water technology, and because the operator is made responsible for ensuring this functional reliability, the commissioning of regular maintenance is of absolute importance and necessity, and is legally binding. The operator must, for example, document, and hence verify, this regular maintenance in accordance with BetrsichV. The maintenance service must observe standards DIN eN 671 and DIN 14462 mentioned above when carrying out maintenance work on extinguishing water equipment. As with fire extinguishers, the maintenance instructions provided by manufacturers take precedence in the maintenance of extinguishing water equipment. Given the many different technologies on the market, the operator and customer must pay particular attention to ensuring the technical expert for extinguishing water equipment has access to the relevant maintenance instructions ­ the operator preferably has this confirmed before order placement. Quality of technical experts for maintenance of extinguishing water equipment Just as with the technical experts for the maintenance of fire extinguishers, the quality of the technical expert course attended is crucial for the qualification of the technical expert for extinguishing water equipment. As with fire extinguishers, GrIF e.V. in würzburg is controlling the quality assurance of technical expert courses for extinguishing water equipment and has set a precisely defined and very high standard syllabus. Applicable again here is that those who are permitted to carry Quality Mark no. 2 from GrIF e.V. (rAL-GZ 974-2) guarantee having attended a quality-approved expert course not only with a very high standard syllabus but also with a challenging list of questions which have to be answered correctly by the examinee on completion of the course. Inspection log for acceptance and maintenance of fire extinguishing and fire protection installations under the terms of the applicable state building and water regulations, extinguish-

ing water equipment is subject to mandatory acceptance. Verification of regular maintenance must also be kept by the operator. For this purpose, BVFA federal association Technischer Brandschutz (Technical Fire Protection), together with central association sanitär Heizung Klima (sanitation, Heating, Air-conditioning) has developed an "inspection log" for the acceptance and maintenance of fire extinguisher and fire protection installations. BVFA is therefore making a key contribution towards improved reliability in the acceptance and maintenance of this equipment. The many checklists, bulletins and detailed descriptions of installation technology have created a compendium which brings operators and specialist tradesmen working on-site up-to-date in regard to the level of knowledge for extinguishing water equipment. This is of particular importance because installation of this technology on-site is only carried out by tradesmen in the fitter trade with authorisation to work on drinking water pipes (who commonly do not have specialist knowledge of fire equipment installations having a drinking water supply). Accordingly, the inspection log is not only passed to the operator by manufacturer and supplier of the extinguishing water installation, it is also passed through the sales channel of the central sanitation, Heating and Air-conditioning association to the trade for a nominal charge so that the knowledge of fire protection with drinking water is spread throughout the trade.

This logo guarantees: The technical expert for extinguishing water equipment has successfully completed a GRIF-certified course in accordance with RAL-GZ 974-2.

extract taken from the inspection log:

"on installation of a new system, the inspection log must, along with the "as-built" documents, be passed to every operator of extinguishing water installations with wall hydrants. even for existing installations, the operator must be made aware of the duty to keep an inspection log for servicing and maintenance work. Keeping an inspection log for an extinguishing water installation helps the operator satisfy the legal requirements. The inspection log serves as a guide for builders, accepting bodies (appraisers) and maintenance companies in satisfying all of the legal requirements and the recognised codes of practise for on-going operation of extinguishing water installations. only with regular inspection, servicing and maintenance of the extinguishing water installation, and the related entries in the inspection log, can the quality assurance and function of the extinguishing water installation be ensured".

Die ordnungsgemäße Errichtung von Löschwasserleitungen und Wandhydranten ist nach den jeweiligen Ländervorschriften abnahmepflichtig.

Brandschutzspezial | Feuerlöschgeräte · Löschmittel · Löschwassertechnik




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