Fire Extinguisher Standard

Irish Standard IS291:2015
Selection, commissioning, installation, inspection and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers

Irish Standard IS291:2002 has been revoked and replaced with a new version 2015. All new portable fire extinguishers selected, commissioned, installed and maintained to the standard should fully comply by 18th August 2016.


What does this mean for customers of Munster Fire & Safety?

Under Irish legislation all organisations are obliged to implement safety procedures to reduce the possibility of uncontrolled fires. Compliance with your responsibilities under the Fire Services Act requires that, “...essential fire safety features appropriate to the use of the premises must be provided and a proactive fire safety management policy must be in place to minimise the risk of a fire occurring and to ensure the safety of persons on the premises in a fire emergency.”


Main Points
• Portable fire extinguishers should be provided regardless of whether or not fixed systems such as sprinklers, automatic suppression systems, fire hose reels etc. are also provided.

• Training in the use of fire extinguishers is an important part of compliance with fire safety management policy.

• A minimum number of portable fire extinguishers are required for dealing with the various fire classifications – we can advise on this for you on visiting your premises.

• You should visually inspect your portable fire extinguishers monthly – using our checklist. Should a deficiency be revealed or if the unit has been used, it should be withdrawn from service immediately and you should call us (029-71288).

• All portable fire extinguishers should be maintained at intervals not exceeding 12 months (plus or minus one month). During this maintenance visit all units will be inspected and maintained - in accordance with the standard - to give maximum assurance that they will operate effectively and safely, and to determine if physical damage or any condition will prevent their operation or if any repair or replacement is necessary. Necessary record keeping will also take place on the service label of each unit and in your fire register.

• Every portable fire extinguisher shall be tested by discharge every 3 years from date of commissioning or 4 years from date of manufacture (whichever is first) and then subsequently every 3 years from date of last test discharge.

• One third of all of the fire extinguishers shall be discharged every year so that at the end of the third year 100% of the extinguishers will have been tested by discharge.

• The date of the discharge will be filled in the service label of the extinguisher and in the fire register.

• The standard covers water-based, foam, powder, carbon dioxide and wet chemical portable fire extinguishers.

• The standard does not cover obsolete, soda acid and chemical foam types, halon type extinguishers; extinguishers with copper or brass bodies including shell bodies joined by rivets or soft solder; carbon dioxide extinguishers with a tube connecting a metal horn to the valve; plastic or fibreglass body shells, aerosol type or disposable extinguishers not designed for recharging; extinguishers with plastic heads; extinguishers which do not have a safety pressure release device or extinguishers that cannot be serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s maintenance manual.

• Water, foam, wet chemical and dry powder portable fire extinguishers which are over 10 years old no longer comply with the new standard.