P50 service-free extinguisher wins APEA award

Britannia P50 Wins at APEA ShowAPEA, the UK’s Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration, has just awarded their 2014 Health and Safety Performance Award to Britannia for their P50 service-free fire extinguisher during the APEA Live 2014 Exhibition and Conference on the 5th November, where we exhibited the extinguishers jointly with Britannia. Safelincs is key marketing and distribution partner for the Britannia P50 extinguisher.

APEA represents the petroleum industry, including national regulators, local government authorities, oil companies, equipment manufacturers, forecourt operators and suppliers. Their yearly exhibition is visited not only by their members and suppliers but also by specialist sections from various fire brigades, fire service academies and other fire safety organisations.

The Health and Safety Performance Award at the conference was sponsored this year by Franklin Fueling Systems. The award is conferred to the organisation with the best health and safety system or programme.

After receiving the Award, Andy Spence, General Manager at the manufacturer Britannia in Norwich said,“This is a fantastic achievement for our business. This service-free fire extinguisher offers huge safety benefits for this industry and we are pleased that APEA has appreciated that by presenting us with this prestigious award.”

This award for the kitemarked P50 extinguisher is one of many acclamations for the products. The P50 extinguisher has now achieved a strong foothold in the fire safety industry, with customers as diverse as councils, colleges, refineries, schools, insurances, office, farms and other industries moving to the service-free regime of the P50s. Britannia is currently investing further into an increased production line output, for example a new quarter of a million pounds blow-moulding machine for the inner chemical cylinder.

P50 extinguishers do not require visits from service engineer and do not need to be refilled after 5 years.  Instead they are visually inspected once a year by the customer and the check is recorded in the fire safety logbook. When Safelincs installs these extinguishers, our engineers first carry out a site survey and then install and certify the extinguishers. We then train local staff in the visual inspection of the extinguishers and issue a training certificate. We recommend that the customers subsequently notify their insurers about their changed maintenance regime. With budgeting in mind we offer a phase-in programme to ease the changeover from traditional extinguishers to the P50s. This ensures extinguishers are only replaced when they are due for refill or replacement.

It’s worth reading the ads!

Harrow CollegeWhen Ian Kavanagh, estates manager at London’s Harrow College, was leafing through his copy of FM Magazine, a Safelincs advert for the P50 range of extinguishers caught his eye. It was particularly pertinent since he had just had the annual maintenance carried out on both the campuses the college operates.

He was aware that, following on from the maintenance, a considerable amount of remedial work was required which would include replacing a significant number of the appliances.

The P50s attracted his attention because they have been developed so that they only require an annual check by a member of staff; they do not require servicing by an extinguisher engineer or a discharge test over their entire 10-year lifespan. After 10 years the extinguishers can be refurbished for a further 10-year service-free life.

Since a considerable amount of his budget goes on fire extinguisher maintenance, Kavanagh could see that the P50s had the potential to save money in the future. He contacted Safelincs who arranged to visit and demonstrate the extinguisher. It was explained that the P50’s construction, utilising Aramid fibres (a class of heat-resistant and strong synthetic fibers used in aerospace, military applications and ballistic-rated body armour fabric), is corrosion-proof. This removes the necessity for an annual visit from an engineer, as is the case with standard appliances.

Safelincs then carried out an in-depth site survey to identify which standard extinguishers could remain in service and the number of P50s that would be needed to be installed.

“I was very impressed with the P50s and the potential savings they offered,” commented Kavanagh. “Safelincs provided me with clear, honest information and I was happy to place an order.”

Engineers from Safelincs moved existing usable extinguishers across the sites, in accordance with Harrow College’s wishes, and fulfilled requirements to stagger the replacement of the extinguishers. In all, 92 P50s have been supplied, and a full location sheet of extinguishers and marked up floor plans provided by Safelincs. This will ensure that Harrow College’s internal security team, trained to inspect the P50s, can print out a copy and ensure that all extinguishers are checked annually.

The standard extinguishers that are still in service are maintained by Safelincs’ BAFE approved service engineers in accordance to BS5306. They will advise the college when they need to be exchanged for P50s.

The total cost to swap over to the P50 extinguishers was not much greater than the quotation received from the previous servicing company, and in the coming years major savings will be made through a vast reduction in maintenance costs.

P50 service free extinguishers ideal for prisons

HM PrisonsSeveral HM Prisons recently started the process of introducing the P50 service free extinguisher manufactured largely from composite plastics and aramid fibres (such as Kevlar). These kitemarked extinguishers are 100% corrosion proof and do not require annual servicing nor refilling after five years. In their first ten years of life they are simply visually inspected by the customer’s own personnel. This reduces external visits from contractors and makes the annual vetting of contractors, their equipment and any new fire extinguishers by security personnel unnecessary.

P50s delivered to a prison can easily be x-rayed, as there is no metal cylinder preventing the scan. Equally, when after ten years the extinguishers are being refurbished, the replacements can be brought on site without necessarily opening the extinguishers. While the extinguishers can be refilled easily, a special clamp is required to  open the extinguisher, without this the inner and outer body spin against each other without opening the cylinder head. Unauthorised attempts to open the extinguisher for storage of drugs and other illegal items are hence made more difficult. The dual pressure indicators of the P50 are magnetic so security staff can easily verify if a gauge has been tampered with.

The body of the extinguisher, due to it being manufactured from spun fibre has a degree of elasticity which reduces risk of injury if a person is attacked with an extinguisher.

While the main application of the P50 extinguishers lies in the FM market, churches, offices and agriculture, prisons are now becoming an important market for this product. If you would like to know more about the P50 extinguisher, please contact Safelincs on 01507 462176 or email service@safelincs.co.uk

P50 service free extinguisher called into action

drain-picJust a month after it purchased a P50 service free fire extinguisher from Safelincs, Abbey Metal Recycling called it into action.

Late one afternoon at the end of April, a member of staff was cutting a sub-frame with a disc cutter. A spark ignited a pool of oil on the surface of water inside a gully pot which drains into an inceptor tank. Within seconds a small fire broke out, but it was quickly extinguished using the powder P50. There was no damage to the gully pot or drain gate and nobody was injured.

Abbey Metal Recycling is a family owned and operated metal recycler based in Cinderford in Gloucestershire. With over forty years’ experience in the metal recycling business, it has earned a strong reputation within the industry for its dependable service.

The company purchased the P50 as it is an appliance which, due to the nature of its manufacture, requires only an annual check by a member of its own staff rather than a costly yearly visit from an external extinguisher engineer. All the components in the P50’s construction are non-corroding and this, together with a ten year warranty, make it an attractive proposition for the environment in which it is utilised by a recycling company.

Furthermore, Abbey Metal Recycling benefited from Safelincs’ free replacement / repair policy for all fire safety items sold by Safelincs which are utilised or damaged in a fire situation. Abbey’s P50 was therefore immediately replaced free of charge.

P50 service free extinguishers in the petroleum industry

Portable fire extinguishers in refineries and forecourts are exposed to weather and extreme temperatures and, on top of heavy handling, sometimes face a corrosive atmosphere. Traditional fire extinguishers, made from painted steel with an inner protective lining can corrode, often get dented, burst if the contents freeze and can experience detachment of the inner protective lining. All of these issues will lead to the extinguisher being condemned at the annual extinguisher service, resulting in you having to replace it.

This leaves the owners with replacement costs on top of the annual servicing charges, refilling charges every five years and the problem of supervising external subcontractors onsite. In larger refineries and production facilities the cost for supervision of every sub-contract engineer and issuing safety instructions can be significant.

During the annual service, traditional, stored pressure extinguishers are visually inspected from the outside and the pressure of the extinguisher is checked. Every five years, the extinguishers are opened, emptied and the inside is inspected for rust or lining detachment (showing as bubbles). The chemicals within the extinguishers are usually not re-used due to the fear of contamination from rust or the impact of moisture. In short, most of the inspection activities are linked to the fact the extinguishers are made of steel, can corrode and can be dented.

Britannia, a long established manufacturer of portable extinguishers in the UK, in partnership with Safelincs can offer a solution which addresses all these issues.

p50-extinguishersBritannia’s P50 fire extinguishers are made from composites and brass. The extinguishers have an inner 3-layered PA cylinder that contains the fire fighting agent and does not corrode or interact in any way with the chemicals. This cylinder is tightly wrapped in aramid fibre (Kevlar is the best know aramid), a fibre that is stronger than steel (per weight) and which takes up the pressure from the extinguisher. The extinguisher core is then contained and protected against UV light by a red plastic mantle. The head and valves are made from brass and stainless steel. The extinguishers are almost indestructible – even the most serious knocks will not damage the P50 extinguishers.

To test their resilience at the production plant, every 500th extinguisher is destruction tested: The extinguishers are pressurised 12000 times between zero and 25 bar. After this demanding test they are crushed flat by a metal blade and re-pressurised to over 55 bar without being allowed to burst or leak! In the tests P50 extinguishers actually only burst at around 85 bar!

These extinguishers are corrosion-proof and have a far superior pressure resistance than steel extinguishers. As the chemicals are not reacting with the cylinder, there is no need to refill the extinguisher after five years. The manufacturers of the chemicals have certified that the chemicals used in the P50 extinguishers will not require refilling for at least ten years. After the ten years, Safelincs, the main distribution partner of Britannia, offers an exchange service. The returned units are re-filled and can then be used for a further ten years!

As corrosion, lining detachment and dints will never be a problem for the P50 extinguishers; the only inspection requirement left is the verification of the internal pressure to detect any potential leakage. To give extra peace of mind Britannia has fitted two German-made pressure indicators to each extinguisher. Normal extinguishers only have one pressure indicator.

p50-indicatorsThe requirement to regularly check pressure indicators applies both to traditional extinguishers and the P50. The general recommendation is that extinguisher pressure indicators should be viewed in passing about once a month by end users to ensure that they are still showing the indicator needle in the green area of the indicator.

The real difference to traditional steel extinguishers is the replacement of the annual service by an external engineer with a simple annual visual inspection by the end users or their representatives. This inspection is boiled down to a very swift visual inspection of pressure indicators and the extinguisher outer body to check for any visual damage from the outside. This inspection is then recorded on the back of the extinguisher and in the company’s fire safety logbook. This visual inspection requires no skill or tools. Nevertheless, when Safelincs installs the extinguishers at the customer, they train site staff in the visual inspection process and will certify their training to confirm that staff are competent to visually inspect the extinguishers. As a back-up there is also a video on the Safelincs website that runs through the process.

The P50 extinguishers are kitemarked and LPCB approved. They are also CE marked and marine approved. All major insurance companies accept the reduced servicing regime, as long as evidence of the regular visual inspection is kept in the standard fire safety log books in the same way as for any other extinguisher types. Britannia offers a ten year guarantee for all P50 extinguishers, offering complete peace of mind.

P50 extinguishers are installed in refineries, petrol stations and many other outdoor locations. It was in one of the refineries that the extinguisher shown below was photographed after it had been run over by a van – it was still fully pressurised!

crushed-p50-extinguisher

Cost benefits:

These composite extinguishers cost in the region of £100-£150, depending from order volume, including site survey, installation, training and certification. They save the customer the costs of the annual service and the five-yearly refills/replacement. Due to the refurbishment after ten years (at around half the price of a new P50) the lifespan of the extinguisher is twenty years.

A simple and conservative calculation, comparing it with Safelincs’ own and very competitive standard extinguisher range, identifies the savings. We have only considered a ten year period, although the savings over 20 years are of course much larger: The savings indicated below are per unit.

Traditional 6kg powder (steel) P50 Composite
Cost Qty Cost Qty
Extinguisher cost £32.99 1 £145.00 1
Installation+ commission £9.99 1 0
Annual service £7.99 8 0
Call-out (averaged over 5 extinguishers) £5.00 11
5 yearly refill £39.98 1
Disposal £3.57 1 0
Total 10 year costs £205.45 £145.00

As mentioned above, the real savings are higher when a 20 year period is considered. Larger customers are also achieving much better purchase prices in the first place.

Also, the P50 extinguishers have substantially higher ratings than traditional extinguishers, so that fewer extinguishers are required, offering even further savings:

Model 6kg powder 6l foam
TG PowerX 21A 144B C 13A 144B
(not suitable for electrical)
P50 Composite 43A 183B C 27A 183B Electrical

The P50s have more than double the A rating, allowing drastic reduction of numbers in offices and work places.

The P50 foam is also suitable for use on electrical equipment, allowing the replacement of the CO2 extinguishers found in many locations. Traditional foam extinguishers often do not have that capability!

To help our customers with the cost of the introduction of the P50 extinguishers, we offer additional options:

  • Phased introduction: We replace extinguishers as they become due for replacement, rather than exchanging them all in one go
  • Payments spread over a number of years

We will, of course, also remove your old extinguishers free of charge and dispose of them responsibly.

If you wish to find out how much the P50 can save you, please contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or email service@safelincs.co.uk

Safelincs and Britannia exhibit at the APEA Live 2013 in Coventry

APEA Live 2013 is a trade show for the petroleum and explosives industry (APEA stands for ‘Association for Petroleum and Explosives Administration’). Safelincs and Britannia jointly exhibited the P50 service free extinguishers to the refinery and forecourt industry. The P50 is particularly well suited to the harsh refinery and forecourt environment and reduces the cost of compliance dramatically, as traditional yearly fire extinguisher inspections in a safety critical environment require members of staff to accompany the service engineers. The P50, which only requires a visual inspection once a year without any servicing activities cuts out these burdens. The extinguishers are simply visually inspected by regular site safety personnel who receive introductory training when Safelincs install the extinguishers. The extinguishers have a ten year warranty and after ten years the P50 are re-furbished, giving them a further ten year life.
apea-trade-show-britannia
The show was well attended and we met some well known faces and made some new and exciting contacts.

Business Development Manager Stuart Baxter said ‘The atmosphere at this event is really friendly and constructive. Everybody knows each other and I am looking forward to follow up some of the new contacts we made this year’

If you would like more information on our P50 service free extinguisher, please contact us on 0800 612 6537

One stop fire safety shop

When Stanbridge Associates, a Lincoln-based firm of accountants, specialising in the medical profession, moved to newly renovated premises in the city they needed to be sure that the premises were fulfilling all fire safety regulations.

The building, a Victorian office conversion, was visited by a fire risk assessor from Safelincs who carried out the full fire risk assessment. Safelincs also surveyed the fire extinguisher arrangements, carried out a fire alarm system test and made recommendations for improvements to suit the way the building would be used.

To allow for better wheelchair access, ventilation and all-round convenience without jeopardising safety or breaking the law, fire door retainers were fitted. These allow fire doors to be kept open safely, while automatically closing them in the event of a fire.

The existing fire extinguishers were replaced with P50 service free extinguishers which will save Stanbridge Associates the annual cost of servicing since they have been designed so that a simple visual inspection once a year is all that is required. This can be easily carried out by one of Stanbridge’s employees and the Safelincs engineer trained staff in this simple process at the time of installation. P50 extinguishers also do not require a refill after five years and can be refurbished after ten years to last a further ten years.

Safelincs put in place the necessary fire safety signs and, as a final touch, handed over a free emergency lighting test key, which means that Stanbridge will be able to test the emergency lighting system themselves in future without needing to call out an external engineer.

“Safelincs provided us with a ‘one stop shop’ to enable us to meet all our fire safety requirements when we moved into our new offices,” said Catherine Cullen, Account Manager, Stanbridge Associates. “Their professional, friendly approach not only completed the work on time but also saved us money.”

Extinguisher run over by van – still pressurised!

We were always convinced that our P50 service free extinguishers made from a Kevlar-type aramid were almost in-destructable. Nevertheless, when one of our engineers was visiting one of our customers, a refinery on the east coast, he was surprised when he was handed a fire extinguisher that had been run over by a van and that it was still fully pressurised!

crushed-p50-1crushed-p50-2crushed-p50-3

This is not that surprising when you know that 1 in 500 of these extinguishers are tested by pressurising them 12,000 times from zero bar to 25 bar. And after they have undergone this harsh test, they are crushed flat by a steel blade before being re-inflated without being allowed to leak at 55 bar!

The P50 service free extinguisher is suitable for the harshest of environments, including outdoors.

Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service chooses P50 service free extinguishers

The P50 service free extinguishers from Britannia are introduced into more and more public organisations and fire safety services. The latest formal introduction of these extinguishers, which do not require external servicing visits, was by the Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service who gave a written endorsement on the 6th of September 2013:

‘Following our supply of the P50 Powder fire extinguishers I can confirm that all Nottinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service front line fire appliances now carry this extinguisher.

Feedback from crews using them at incidents have found them to be very effective leaving less residual media, they are lighter and easy for stowage than our previous steel bodied extinguishers.

Simple weekly visual inspections are carried out by operational crews and any refills are carried out by our fully qualified BAFE registered staff.

Massive savings in service costs over the 10 year period are hoped to be achieved.’

The weekly visual inspections are, of course, the standard regular visual checks that all extinguisher owners should carry out.

The P50s do not require annual servicing and do not have to be re-filled after 5 years.

 

P50 Popular at FM Show at NEC

The P50 service free extinguisher turned more than a few heads on the Safelincs stand at the recent Facilities Show at the National Exhibition Centre in Birmingham.

Facilities managers who attend the annual event are always looking for innovative ways to cut costs and provide better service for their clients. They didn’t take much persuading to see the benefits and potential savings offered by the P50.

P50-at-the-FM-trade-show

Traditional extinguishers require servicing each year but P50s are constructed using a composite material that will not rust or corrode. This protects the contents and no discharge testing or refills are required for ten years. The expensive annual service by an external engineer is no longer necessary– just a straightforward yearly test that can easily be carried out by an organisation’s in-house staff.

After ten years the P50s can be refilled and used for a further ten years.

Safelincs’ managing director, Harry Dewick-Eisele was at the show and had the opportunity to speak to many facilities managers. “Those with responsibility for large estates could see savings running into thousands of pounds,” he said. “A good number were going back to their offices to weigh up how quickly they could replace their existing appliances and start cutting costs.”