Frequently Asked Questions for Britannia P50 Extinguishers

We have collected some typically asked questions for you. If you have additional questions, please contact us directly and our friendly customer care team will do their best to help you with your query as accurately as possible.

Q. Do I have to throw away the extinguisher after 10 years?

A. No, we factory refurb the P50 extinguishers after 10 years (or if they get discharged before then). This costs currently £120+VAT which includes exchange of the extinguishers with an already refurbished unit at your premises. The refurbished extinguishers then have another 10 year life.

Q. How can the foam extinguisher and powder possibly last 10 years? All other extinguishers require re-filling after 5 years?

A. The foam is supplied pre-mixed and is certified to last in the P50 extinguishers for at least 10 years. The same applies for the powder. Most manufacturers of extinguishing agents will not guarantee their products if used in traditional steel extinguishers, as the risk of corrosion and interaction with the extinguisher cylinder is too high. Our extinguishers are made of composite plastic and can not corrode.

Q. How do I know where to place my extinguishers if the extinguishers do not need a servicing engineer?

When you purchase your P50 extinguishers, we will send a fully qualified extinguisher engineer to your premises free of charge. The engineer will carry out a site survey to ensure you are suitably covered, install your extinguishers for you and show you how to visually inspect the extinguishers. At the end the engineer will issue you with a certificate.

Q. Can everybody carry out the yearly visual inspection?

A. As long as the person asked to carry out the inspection has read the instructions on the side of the extinguisher and has access to the company’s fire safety log, he/she will be able to carry out the inspection. The extinguisher engineer sent by us free of charge for the installation will also train you in the visual inspection. We have also posted an online video showing the simple steps of inspecting the extinguishers.

Q. Can the extinguisher be damaged by light (UV)?

A. No, the outer sleeve is UV protected and will protect the functional Kevlar core from any light damage

Q. Will my insurance accept the Britannia P50 extinguishers?

A. Yes. Whilst we obviously cannot answer for all insurance companies we have spoken with most insurance companies who have all approved the P50 extinguishers. We recommend, however, that you notify your insurance about your new extinguisher maintenance regime.

Q. How do I change my extinguisher cover to Britannia P50's?

A. If you currently have powder or foam extinguishers they can be replaced like for like (as long as the fire ratings on the P50 extinguishers are equivalent or higher than your current extinguishers). If you have CO2 extinguishers, these can be replaced by Britannia P50 foam extinguishers. Don’t worry too much, though – Our engineers will survey your premises when they are coming to install the Britannia P50 extinguishers to make sure that you are adequately covered. They will even certify in writing that the extinguishers installed are correctly installed and offer sufficient cover as well as showing you the service free checks required. And all of this free of charge.

Q. What do I need to tell my insurance?

A. We would recommend that you inform your insurance company of the extinguisher changeover in writing and would suggest you post the following statement to them: "We would like to notify you with regards to a change in our fire safety provisions. With effect from… our portable fire extinguishers are no longer subject to an annual check by a third party, as we have replaced them with the new EN3 certified P50 extinguishers from Britannia which will be self-maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions. The extinguishers have a warranty of 10 years. We will be carrying out the self-maintenance specified by the manufacturer and will document each self-maintenance in our fire safety logbook".

Q. You are only supplying foam and powder extinguishers. What happens if I currently also have CO2 fire extinguishers?

A. CO2 fire extinguishers have a B rating (suitable for flammable liquids such as petrol and oil). You need to add the ratings of your current extinguisher cover together (all A ratings, all B ratings) and then ensure that you achieve the same or even a higher rating with the P50 extinguishers. P50 extinguishers have the following ratings:

  • 6ltr Foam: 27A 183B
  • 6kg Powder: 43A 183B C
CO2 extinguishers of course also cover electrical risks. However, our P50 foam extinguishers are safe on electrical fires and will deal with the issue of burning plastic or liquefying plastics created by burning cables and electronic components extremely well.

Q. Do I not HAVE to install CO2 extinguishers?

A. No, while CO2 extinguishers are of course very handy for electronic equipment such as computers, the P50 fire extinguishers focus on ensuring extinguisher cover compliance and to satisfy the findings from your fire risk assessment. You can cover all your business risks with the Britannia P50 extinguishers with the exception of deep fat fryers (F rating).

Q. CO2 fire extinguishers are also suitable for electrical equipment. What do I use instead?

A. Both our foam and powder extinguishers can be safely used on electrical fires. To avoid powder being spread over expensive electronic equipment we would recommend our P50 foam extinguisher on computers and other electronic equipment. See the video

Q. Can I refill a Britannia P50 extinguisher if it has been discharged?

A. Yes, the P50 extinguishers can be factory refurbished. Please contact us if your extinguisher has been discharged or if your extinguisher needs refurbishing after 10 years. The cost currently is £120+VAT. This price includes collection and re-delivery by courier from and to your premises. If the extinguisher has been used on a fire you will receive a free replacement or refurb from us. Just send us the fire brigade’s incidence report and we will exchange your extinguisher.

Q. Are the extinguishers going to melt in a fire?

A. The Britannia P50 extinguishers have had the same fire / flame test as standard extinguishers.

Q. Why are these extinguishers maintenance-free? Why don’t they need servicing?

A. All components chosen by Britannia are either stainless, brass or composite plastics which will not corrode. Britannia has through decades of experience proven the durability of their hoses and plastic components. There is hence no need to replace any components or check for corrosion during the ten year life cycle of the extinguishers

Q. The foam extinguisher has an electrical sign on the label, can the extinguisher be used to extinguish electrical fires or is it just a message to say that contact with electricity is ok up to the 1000V stated?

A. The extinguisher has been tested with the di-electrical test which confirms that use of the extinguisher on electrical equipment is safe, even up to 35000V. Electrical fires are largely made up of burning cables and plastic components, which are very well extinguished with our foam extinguishers. Nevertheless do we recommend that the power is switched off, where possible, before an attempt is made to extinguish an electrical fire.

Q. What happens if an extinguisher needs replacing following a fire?

A. Safelincs will arrange the swap-out of your extinguisher for free. Just send us your fire service incident report.

Q. I need a couple of foam extinguishers and have seen you service free extinguishers. I have checked my building insurance and it states that the extinguishers in my building need to be maintained yearly by a competent person. Have these extinguishers been approved by the insurance companies? If so that's great and I will have a couple. Just don't want this back firing if something was to happen and the insurance company asks to see my service certificate

A. All the insurances we have spoken to have approved the extinguishers. The relevant sections in the extinguisher servicing standard BS5306-3:2009 state that a competent person needs to maintain all extinguishers and that such a competent person is primarily defined by having the ability to carry out the procedures as defined by the manufacturer. The manufacturer Britannia Fire clearly states that only a visual inspection is required and in fact allowed. The attempt to change anything on the extinguishers would invalidate the manufacturer’s warranty. The Britannia extinguishers are best compared with a modern quality car, where the first service is only required after many thousand miles and where any attempt to service the car beforehand would invalidate the warranty. In analogy to the extinguisher the car owner only looks out for warning lights on the dashboard and does not need to lift the bonnet. When you purchase the Britannia extinguishers from us one of our BAFE registered extinguisher engineers will visit you and install the extinguishers free of charge. They also ensure that you are suitably covered in accordance to the relevant British standards. The engineers will also issue you an installation certificate and will give you training to ensure that you are able to carry out the yearly visual inspection. Following this instruction you will be deemed competent to maintain the Britannia P50 extinguishers

Q. Are the P50 extinguishers suitable for outdoor use in the cold?

A. The powder extinguisher can be used down to -20 degree Celsius. If you require a foam extinguisher, select the P50 foam extinguisher with antifreeze, which allows use down to -10 degrees Celsius. This version has antifreeze added at the Britannia factory.


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