District council saves £20,000 in extinguisher deal

Safelincs has installed 54 service free extinguishers for a Sussex district council in a deal that will save it an estimated £20,000 over the next ten years.

Unlike conventional extinguishers the P50 extinguishers do not require an annual service by an external engineer. They have been designed so that a simple check can be undertaken each year by one of the council’s staff, which is where the savings are made.

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P50 extinguishers installed in one of the district council buildings

The kitemarked P50 extinguishers are guaranteed for ten years after which they can be refilled and used for another ten years (most extinguishers need refilling after five years). The inner cylinder of the extinguisher is made from composite plastic which is cocooned by spun Aramid, the material bullet proof vests are made from. The metal elements are either brass or stainless steel which means that they are very strong and will not rust or corrode. All the materials used in the construction of the extinguishers are 100% recyclable.

“Installation and certification by one of the Safelincs engineers was included in the price,” explained John Rodway, safety advisor for the council.   “At the same time he demonstrated the straightforward annual checking process and if there is a change of staff, a short video on the Safelincs website runs through the procedure.”

The council has taken mainly foam extinguishers but also has three powder appliances for specialist areas. With no servicing costs for the next ten years it will save in the region of £2,000 annually.

Ismena Clout Endorses Safelincs’ P50 Maintenance-Free Fire Extinguishers

Ismena Clout of the BIFM recently endorsed Safelincs’ offering of P50 maintenance-free fire extinguishers .  P50s do not require any maintenance or service for ten years, saving FM companies substantial amounts of money.

“Sometimes a new product comes along that you know is going to alter the market, I believe that the P50 fire extinguisher from Safelincs is just such a product.  It saves clients and FM companies money and ongoing maintenance headaches; it really is a game-changing product.” said Ismena Clout.

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The BIFM is the professional body for facilities management in the UK. The Institute delivers a range of services and benefits, including information, qualifications, continuing professional development, training and networking for over 13,000 individual and corporate members.

P50 maintenance-free extinguishers (also known as Fireworld extinguishers) are manufactured by Britannia in Norfolk and are distributed and installed by Safelincs. We carry out the initial site survey and install the P50 extinguishers. Our BAFE certified engineers then train the customer or their FM provider in the visual annual check required, issue training certificates and the official extinguisher certification. Safelincs offers a refill service for any extinguishers emptied and, as a special service to our customers, replaces any extinguishers used to fight a fire for free. The P50s come with a ten year warranty and at the end of the ten years, Safelincs offers a full factory refurbishment to increase the lifespan by another ten years!

Ismena Cout is the Chairman of the BIFM

Maintenance-Free Fire Extinguishers – All The Facts

1) A long overdue solution

In an age where new cars do not require servicing for tens of thousands of miles despite demanding usage, it was always a bit of an anachronism that fire extinguishers, which usually see no action or use for their entire life, were required to be serviced every year and to be refilled after five years.

Finally, the fire safety industry has come up with a solution – P50 maintenance-free fire extinguishers. These extinguishers, once installed by our certified engineers, do not require an extinguisher service engineer to visit again for ten years, saving the customer substantial amounts of money!

med-approved-p50-fire-extinguisher2) What are maintenance-free extinguishers?

Most fire extinguishers contain a cocktail of aggressive chemicals which can quickly corrode metals. The traditional way of preventing this corrosion from damaging an extinguisher is to line extinguishers with molten plastic. This process always had its limitations as the lining can become detached from the wall, become porous or can be incomplete in the first place. As a result yearly inspections have been necessary.

P50 Maintenance-free extinguishers, on the other hand, contain the chemicals within a three-layered extruded composite plastic container. As these extinguishers, after being installed by our certified engineers, will only be visually inspected by our clients, the P50 extinguishers must have additional security features to ensure that, for example, the pressure indicator displays the status of the extinguisher correctly. This is achieved with duplicate pressure indicators. In addition one of these pressure indicators is magnetic so that the free movement of the needle can be checked with a magnet provided if in doubt.

Does the customer need to do anything?

Maintenance-free extinguishers must still be visually inspected by the customer or their representative as any other extinguishers, and once a year, the extinguisher’s age must be checked, the hose be looked into to spot any obstructions and the pressure indicator read to ensure it is in the green zone. If everything is ok, the back of the extinguisher is filled in with a marker pen and the finding logged in the fire safety logbook (the same as with any other extinguisher). If a problem is found, Safelincs simply replaces the extinguisher for free.

4) How are they made?

The main component of the P50 extinguisher is the inner composite plastic container holding the chemicals. This container is cocooned by Aramid fibre (which is the material bullet proof vests are made of). This tightly spun weave takes up the pressure from the filled extinguisher. To protect the Aramid from UV light, water and wear, the cocoon is covered by an outer cylinder made of UV protected rugged plastic.

P50 extinguishers are made in the UK.

5) How durable are these extinguishers?

P50 are tested not only to the EN3 extinguisher standard, which is a demanding standard. In addition they are also tested to the PED (Pressure Equipment Directive), the same standard that containers with pressurised explosive gas are tested to.

The extinguishers are pressured 12000 times from zero to 25 bar. They are then crushed by a metal blade and re-pressurised to over 55 bar without bursting or leaking. In actual fact they only burst at around 85 bar during this test.

6) Are they kitemarked?

P50 extinguishers are kitemarked by the British Standards Institute to EN3 and in addition certified by Apragaz. They are approved for marine use (MED approval) and boat use (Boat Safety Scheme) as well.

7) What is the insurance industry saying

Most major insurances have explicitly approved the P50 extinguishers, as long as they are installed by certified engineers. When the extinguishers are purchased, Safelincs’ certified engineers visit the customer, carry out a free site survey, the free install, free commissioning and certification and train the customer in the visual inspection mentioned above. We also always suggest that the customers notify their insurer about the modified extinguisher regime. To this end our engineer will hand the customer a letter to be sent to their insurance.

8) Where can these extinguishers be used?

The P50 foam extinguishers replace traditional foam, water and CO2 extinguishers in office environments, schools, nursing homes, animal husbandry and similar environments. The P50 powder extinguishers are used in engine rooms, refineries, farms and other challenging outdoor locations.

9) What happens after ten years?

After ten years Safelincs offers a refurbishment at half the price of a new P50 which gives the extinguishers another ten year lifespan.

10) Where can you buy P50 extinguishers?

To purchase P50 extinguishers in the UK, contact Safelincs on 0800 612 6537 or visit www.safelincs.co.uk. You can place an order and we will contact you to agree a date for the free installation and certification or you can ask for a free site survey before committing to a purchase. Financing options are also available to help spread the cost of the extinguishers.

11) How can the FM industry benefit?

P50 extinguishers are often offered by FM companies to their customers as part of their overall service package, as many large customers do not want to be involved at all in the fire extinguisher provision, maintenance-free or not. In these cases the FM companies simply request the P50 extinguisher provision from Safelincs whose certified engineers will carry out a free site survey to determine which extinguishers are required and where. Safelincs will then immediately carry out the free install, free commissioning and certification and the free training/instruction to whoever will look after the P50s. Safelincs then hands responsibility for the yearly visual inspection to the FM company. The FM company does not require any tools, specialist training, certification or refresher course for this visual inspection.

12) Can the P50 be phased-in?

If a customer has existing extinguisher provision where extinguishers do not expire all at the same time, we offer a staged introduction to make this process easier and most cost efficient.

13) Who has installed the P50 already?

MITIE, Kier, Legal&General, CofE, Catholic Church of UK, ShopDirect, Integral, Phillips 66, Mid Sussex District Council, Courtney Buses, Guys & St Thomas NHS,

Fire Extinguishers in Churches

Fire extinguishers in churches and cathedrals are important to protect the often invaluable historic artefacts and mostly wooden internal structures. However, the extinguishers must be chosen with care. A well publicised case, where the extinguishers became the problem rather than preventing one, was the vandalism caused by two teenagers in a church in Spalding in 2006. In this case a powder and a water extinguisher installed in the kitchenette were set off. The powder and the water reacted to form a slightly acidic mixture which formed a hard crust. Valuable church fixtures, including the organ had to be restored at a cost of £240,000.

Powder extinguishers, while being excellent on forecourts, engine rooms and car parks, where they are valued for their rapid knock-down of flames from a variety of sources, are not really suited for indoor locations. The fine powder can obstruct vision and lead to inhalation of the powder. The powder will also attack electronics, soft furnishings and causes damage to wood and metal, especially when moist.

What alternatives are there?

In principle, water based extinguishers (water, water spray, ‘dry’ water mist) and foams are suitable, although foams contain chemicals that might be harmful to metal and wood. Please note that water extinguishers with additives can also cause damage. CO2 extinguishers, while leaving no deposit, are not really suitable for the type of fire risks in churches and can unfortunately be misused to intimidate people with their roaring discharge and the massive temperature drop the discharge causes.

Where traditional extinguishers requiring annual servicing are required , the E-series ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers from Jewel are perfect, as they create a very fine mist with much smaller water mist particles than those generated by normal water spray extinguishers. These extinguishers are also suitable for all common fire risks found in a church, including electrical risks (even up to 1000V, as long as a safety distance of 1m is adhered to). The mist is so fine that the damage to paintings and structures is limited and no puddles are formed. The extinguisher can also be used on clothing, wall-hangings and carpets.

Where in-house servicing of the extinguishers is required, often to help reduce costs , the Britannia P50 maintenance free foam extinguisher can be installed instead. It is suitable for the majority of the fire risks found in churches, however, its deposits are harder to clean up and potentially corrosive. After the initial install and certification carried out by Safelincs, the extinguisher only requires yearly visual inspection by the Church Warden. No refill after five years is required and the extinguisher does not require a service engineer for ten years!

 

Two Innovative Fire Extinguishers – A Clear Case of Horses for Courses

Safelincs is very happy to be leading the way by supplying two innovative types of fire extinguisher – the Jewel Water Mist Extinguisher and the Fireworld P50. Both are attracting attention from those with an interest in fire safety. But what are the considerations when deciding which type to buy?

Here we examine the benefits of each type of extinguisher and consider where they might best be utilised.

Water mist

Water mist extinguishers (also called E-series or ‘dry’ water mist extinguishers) have a supersonic nozzle that disperses microscopic ‘dry’ water mist particles to suppress fires and extinguish burning materials quickly and easily. The nature of these particles means that they can be used on just about every type of fire, including fat fires. The ‘dry’ mist is 100% environmentally friendly as it is just de-ionised water. There are no nasty fumes or residue to deal with – it is a clean way of tackling a fire – and the water mist also protects the user from heat.

water-mist-fire-extinguisherThe speed at which the water mist smothers the fire, as demonstrated in this video, is very impressive. The fine mist also suppresses and minimises the acrid smoke generated by the fire.

The water mist extinguisher is proving popular in hotel and restaurant kitchens where even a deep fat fryer fire can be quickly dealt with. But what makes it so appealing is that there are no fumes or residue to clear up. Using a powder or foam extinguisher, even on a minor fire would leave a lot of mess.

This would mean throwing away any food in the vicinity and maybe even having to temporarily close the kitchen, causing inconvenience and loss of revenue.

In a recent hotel fire, a croissant placed in a toaster designed for bread caused a fire to break out. The water mist extinguisher quickly put out the fire and, after it had been inspected and PAT tested, the toaster was put back into service.

The lack of residue also makes these extinguishers popular in museums and heritage buildings. Very often, when fires occur, the process of extinguishing them can cause more damage than the fire itself. In an environment where valuable paintings or artefacts are present the opportunity to install an extinguisher that will minimise residual damage is attractive.

The one litre version is fast becoming a favourite for use in the home. The water mist extinguisher will cope with any likely domestic fire and there are no residual fumes that would harm children.

Fireworld P50

Where fire extinguishers are installed there is a requirement to have them serviced annually by a qualified engineer – an expensive business.

med-approved-p50-fire-extinguisherBut this is where the Britannia Fireworld P50 comes into its own. It has been designed so that it requires only an annual inspection which can easily be carried out by a member of staff. (There’s even a demonstration video on the Safelincs website). Unlike most extinguishers it does not need refilling after five years. And the P50 is guaranteed for ten years, after which time it can be refilled and used for a further ten years.

So, after the initial outlay, there are no costs for the next ten years

The Fireworld P50 comes in foam and powder versions so any organisation currently using these types of extinguisher has the opportunity to switch and drastically reduce their bills.

Safelincs is the Church of England’s chosen fire safety provider and recently installed eight P50s at St Margaret’s Church in Warnham. Previously St Margaret’s was paying between £500 and £749 per year for its extinguisher maintenance but will now not have to pay a penny for ten years.

The other significant advantage of the P50 lies in its construction. The main body is a strong composite plastic which is reinforced with the material from which bullet proof vests are made. The metal fittings are brass which means that there is nothing in the extinguisher’s make-up that will rust or corrode.

Hence the extinguisher is ideal for outdoor use or anywhere that might be subject to moisture such as farms, swimming pools, oil rigs, wind farms, garage forecourts, railway stations and building sites. And it is very tough and won’t dent in the way that metal extinguishers would.

P50 also finds favour with environmentalists, both for it being 100% recyclable when it reaches the end of its life and for the reduction in miles travelled by engineers.

Help is at hand

At Safelincs we believe that both these types of extinguisher offer significant advantages. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff will be happy to discuss further the merits of each extinguisher to help you decide which is best for you.

Extinguishers from Safelincs save Church of England money

ParishBuying, the collaborative buying organisation of the Church of England recently carried out a survey throughout its parishes, identifying the annual amounts currently spent on fire extinguisher provision. The survey identified seriously over-inflated prices for extinguisher provision:

The vast majority of parishes would have saved significant amounts of money by switching servicing of their fire extinguishers to Safelincs who, as the Church of England’s chosen fire safety provider,  offers ParishBuying customers all-inclusive extinguisher servicing at £7.27+VAT per extinguisher (please note that there is a one-off call-out fee of £21.83+VAT).

These servicing prices are based on the traditional standard steel and aluminium extinguishers, which require yearly servicing and five-yearly refills.

An alternative offered by Safelincs and strongly promoted by the Church of England as a means of saving money and protecting the environment, are the P50 servicing free fire extinguishers. These extinguishers are manufactured in the UK and are made out of a Kevlar-style material and completely corrosion-free. They do not require servicing or refills (unless they are used, of course) for a period of ten years, saving a significant amount of money. Once these extinguishers are installed by Safelincs they only require a very simple visual check once a year by e.g. the Church Warden. The P50 extinguishers are approved by the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group and of course kitemarked. ParishBuying members are offered the P50 (including free site survey, installation, certification and training) for only £94.05+VAT each. Safelincs also offers free replacement of extinguishers damaged in or used on a fire.

One of the parishes participating in the above survey was chosen to receive the P50 extinguishers for free. St Margaret’s in Warnham had their eight traditional extinguishers replaced with P50s including, of course, installation, certification and training, which forms part of the standard package with these extinguishers. St Margaret’s used to pay between £500 and £749 per year for their extinguisher maintenance and will now not have to pay a penny for ten years.

In the graph below we have visualised the cost savings achieved by St Margaret’s changing from metal extinguishers to the servicing free P50 extinguishers, assuming they had not received the P50 extinguishers for free but would have had to pay for them:

St Margaret’s, when thanking for being chosen as the recipient of the free extinguishers, also commented on the professionalism and helpfulness of our engineer and service:

‘Everyone at St. Margaret’s Warnham is delighted that we are the recipient of the prize draw allowing complete replacement and installation of new extinguishers. We would wish to thank the Directors and, indeed, everyone at Safelincs for their generosity in providing such a splendid prize. As you can imagine the continuing viability of our small village church presents an ongoing struggle so the financial benefits provided through your firm is a great blessing. We would be delighted to assist in any publicity drive as a result of the competition under the Parish Buying banner or in any other way.

Please pass on our grateful thanks to all concerned, in particular to Antony who provided us with  excellent and knowledgeable service.’

More information about Safelincs fire extinguisher servicing can be found here and a description of the P50 extinguishers can be seen here. Please note: To receive the ParishBuying discounts from Safelincs, please register on www.parishbuying.org.uk

P50 Service Free Extinguishers reduce risk of infection for pig breeders

One of the UK’s leading pig breeding companies has recently started to introduce Safelincs’ P50 Fireworld service free extinguishers throughout its 20 plus farms. The initial driving force behind this initiative was the cost reduction which can be achieved by cutting out ten years of servicing and the refill after 5 years.

The P50 extinguishers are also particularly suited for a tough and muddy environment, as the components will not corrode or deteriorate, even when installed in the open. However, an even more important advantage became apparent after the first installations of the extinguishers were carried out at the first of their sites. Fire extinguisher service engineers in rural areas will cover many farms on their servicing runs and even when the engineers take special precautions to avoid carrying over infections from one farm to the next, the act of removing extinguishers from a site for refilling at the engineer’s base can carry a risk of spreading disease.

A common approach to stopping diseases spreading between farms is to stop an engineer coming on site. Instead, the engineer commonly works on the extinguishers outside of the farm and passes them back once work is complete. However, the same tools will be used as for all other farms and it is unlikely that the engineer is able to clean sufficiently beforehand or to keep the van sufficiently clean to stop passing on bacteria or viruses.

The P50 gets rid of this risk entirely. The Safelincs engineer will supply brand new units packed in original manufacturer’s packaging and will pass these extinguishers (without packaging) through the entry system of a clean farm. After showering-in, the survey and installation takes place and farm staff are trained in the visual inspection of the extinguishers. After that, the extinguishers will not require an outside person to assess the them for a full ten years reducing the risk of disease spreading.

If you are interested in discussing fire protection in your infection-controlled areas with us, please ring us on 0800 612 6537

New fire extinguisher cuts safety costs

No organisation can skimp on the number of fire extinguishers it provides in its buildings, but a look at the associated costs reveals that the expensive element is not their purchasing but the requirement to have them serviced annually.

There is now an extinguisher that requires only an annual check which can quickly and easily be carried out by a member of staff.  The Britannia P50 Fireworld extinguisher will massively cut maintenance bills with achievable savings of up to £350 per extinguisher* over a ten year period.

Harry Dewick-Eisele, managing director of Safelincs who supply the extinguishers, explains, “Our initial site survey, delivery and installation are included in the price. At the same time we will demonstrate to local staff how to undertake the annual check. And to back it up we have a short video available on our web site that runs through the checking procedure.”

The extinguishers also stand out from others on the market in that they are made from plastic, reinforced with the material from which bullet proof vests are made. The only metal elements are brass which means they will not rust or corrode, making them ideal for outdoor areas and anywhere that is subject to moisture.

The Britannia P50 Fireworld is guaranteed for ten years after which it can be refurbished and used for a further ten service-free years. It is available in both foam and powder versions. The extinguishers carry the BSI Kitemark to BS EN3, the British and European standard for fire extinguishers, and are accepted by insurance companies.

* The standard extinguisher costs are based on purchasing and maintaining a 9kg powder fire extinguisher for a period of 10 years.

Safelincs wins East Riding of Yorkshire tender

Despite tough competition Safelincs has won East Riding of Yorkshire Council’s tender for fire extinguishers and fire safety signs. We are sure that our excellent prices and top of the range quality helped to convince the buying team to award Safelincs the contract for 2012 to 2016. This is the second time in a row that Safelincs has been awarded the fire safety supply for this council.

We are always happy to offer councils and public bodies our very best prices for fire safety products and fire safety services. Our customers also benefit from our outstanding and award winning customer service, our extremely high shipping precision and our expert technical team.

We have also introduced a number of cost saving fire safety products, which are particularly important for councils trying to find budget savings. Our P50 service free extinguishers, for example, offer savings of up to £350 per extinguisher over a ten year period.

 

Invitation to FM companies to our stand at the Facilities Show

Safelincs and Britannia, the manufacturer of the P50 maintenance-free fire extinguisher are exhibiting together at the Facilities Show at the NEC. From the 15th to the 17th of May, we welcome all visitors to our stand P23 Hall 2, where we will be presenting the P50 fire extinguishers. See the Kevlar core of the extinguisher with the ultraviolet protection cylinder and the stainless and brass components. The world’s first maintenance-free extinguisher with 10 year guarantee! No refill after five years is required and the extinguisher can be visually inspected by general maintenance staff. These extinguishers offer large savings to Facilities Management companies. We are happy to work out savings that can be achieved for your FM company by installing our P50 fire extinguishers. See you at the show!