SANS: 10400, SANS: 1475, SANS: 10139, SANS: 0105
Please take note of the following very important information with regards to the service and supply of fire fighting equipment.
Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHS Act)
On the 4th of October 1996 through notice given in the Government Gazette #17468, the following regulations were incorporated into the Occupational Health and Safety Act (Act 85 of 1993):
- ”No user shall use, require or permit the use of a hand-held fire extinguisher unless designed, constructed, filled, recharged, reconditioned, modified, repaired, inspected or tested in accordance with a safety standard incorporated into these regulations in terms of section 44 of the Act.”
- “No person shall fill, recharge, recondition, modify, repair, inspect or test any fire extinguisher unless such person is an authorised person employed by a holder; Provided that a permit issued by an orginisation approved by the chief inspector.
This development meant that the SANS 1475-1 standard and its requirements became legally binding, which includes by way of reference, a number of other SANS standards.
The implementation of these standards and regulations has been of benefit to the fire industry as whole, as both the service provider and the end user are legally obliged to comply with the requirements. Consequently, it is important to take note of the following legislation:
If the owner (end user) uses a service provider that is not an approved SABS 1475 mark holder to recondition his fire extinguishers, both the service provider and the end user are guilty of an offence and could be liable for a fine of up to R100 000,00 and two years in jail in terms of the OHS Act (Act 85 of 1993)- See Government Gazette # 17468
“Any owner of any building who fails to provide sufficient fire extinguishers to satisfy the requirements of sub-regulation T1(1)(e), or who installs fire extinguishers that do not comply with the relevant SABS specification, or who fails to ensure that such fire extinguishers are installed, maintained and serviced in accordance with SABS 0105 shall be guilty of an offence.” (See SANS 10400).
Supply and Installation of Fire fighting equipment SANS 10105 a reference standard for the supply, use and control of fire fighting equipment and are therefore also a legal requirement. SANS 10105 states: “…
The selection of extinguishers for a given situation shall be determined by, amongst others, the character and extent of the fires anticipated, the construction and occupancy of the individual property, the hazards to be protected against, and the ambient temperature conditions. The number, rating, placement and limitations of use of the required extinguishers shall meet the requirements of SANS 10400-T.
5.2 Selection according to risk
5.2.1 Extinguishers shall be selected for protection against specific fire risks.
5.2.2 Extinguishers for protection against class A fires shall be selected from extinguishers with the appropriate class A rating (see SANS 1910).
5.2.3 Extinguishers for protection against class B fires shall be selected from extinguishers with the appropriate class B rating (see SANS 1910).
5.2.4 Extinguishers for protection against class C, class D and class F fires shall be selected from extinguishers with the appropriate rating” …” The appropriate Fire fighting equipment required is determined by the type of occupancy and risk, as described in the Application of the National Building Regulation, Fire Protection section (SANS 10400 part T) Occupancy Classification:
- F1 = Small Shop
- F2 = Large shop
- F3 = Wholesaler’s store
SANS 10400 Part T requirements are relevant:
- A building that has escape routes shall be clearly marked and signposted to indicate the direction to be travelled in the case of any emergency. Such signage may be of the internally or externally illuminated, or photo luminescent type and shall comply with the relevant requirements of SANS 1186-1, SANS 1186-3, SANS 1186-5 and SANS 1464-22.
- Any marks or signs referred to shall comply with the requirements of SANS 10114-2 with regard to the maximum viewing distance of the sign in proportion to the vertical dimension of the sign.
- The exit door of a room which has a population of less than 25 persons shall not be required to be so marked. Where a room has more than one exit door, any door used for normal exit from such room shall not be required to be so marked.
- In the case of any occupancy classified as A1, A2, A3, A4 and A5, an illuminated symbolic safety sign shall be displayed over any exit doors.
- The local authority may, where deemed necessary for the safety of occupants, require the provision of signs prohibiting exit.
The following SANS 10105 requirements in regards to the location of fire extinguishers will apply:
Fire equipment shall preferably be located along normal paths of travel, including exits from areas, and their positions shall be identified by means of signs complying with the provisions of SANS 1186-1.
Fire equipment shall not be obscured from view, except where their positions are clearly marked, and they shall be kept in a readily accessible, unobstructed, and where necessary, demarcated position.
SANS 10400 part T table 11 require provision of portable fire extinguishers as follows
|Class of Occupancy||Number of fire extinguishers/m2||Minimum Charge|
|Water||Foam||CO2||Dry chemical powder|
According to the above extraction any type SABS approved fire extinguisher can be used to protect the mentioned occupancy as long as it complies with the minimum quantity and fire rating requirements. Multipurpose extinguishers like Carbon oxide or Dry chemical powder type is preferable. Although CO2 type extinguishers have a limited affectability on large class A fire’s it is still suitable for this occupancy and risk.
CO2 extinguishers are generally recommended for the use in food industries as it is a clean agent and effective on class A, B and C fires of moderate size. A handheld fire extinguisher is only intended for emergency use on small fires. All extinguishers distributed in South Africa must comply with the PER (Pressure Equipment Regulation) and SANS 1910: Portable Refillable Fire Extinguishers.
The SANS 1910 specification provides clear requirements and specifications in regards with the design and manufacture of fire extinguishers. During the service of fire extinguishers, the service company must ensure that the fire extinguishers are serviced according to SANS 1475 specification and that it complies with the PER and SANS 1910. As fire equipment is safety critical, adherence to all these requirements are crucial. Fire equipment that does not bear the manufacturing mark of an accredited certification body and complies with SANS 1910 and the PER, can therefore not be serviced and must be condemned by the service company.
SABS Approved Fire Equipment SANS 10400 part T furthermore states: “… 4 .3 7 . 3 Portable fire extinguishers installed in a building shall comply with the requirements in SANS 1910, and shall be installed, maintained and serviced by competent persons in accordance with SANS 1475-1 and SANS 10105-1. 4 . 3 7 . 4 Such portable fire extinguishers shall bear a certification mark from an accredited certification body…”
A list of all SABS approved manufacturers of fire fighting equipment can be obtained from the SABS website. (Search under the relevant specification or the company’s name) EG: Flash Fire is not a SABS markholder. Neither their fire extinguishers nor their hose reels are SABS approved.
Regulating the fire protection industry for your safety
SAQCC – Fire was established to assist with the regulation and training of technicians servicing fire equipment, in accordance with SANS 1475. Through the use of qualified training personnel, information and technology, we aim to uplift the level of the Fire Industry’s service technicians in South Africa to world class standards.
SAQCC – Fire works closely with the SABS and DOL to ensure standards are met and technicians and servicing companies adhere to the law.
For proof of compliance, check your service technician is wearing a SAQCC-Fire identity card – or use the search facilities provided alongside to conduct a registration search.
Fireworx 1475’s OHS division includes the following services:
- Health and Safety Plans and Structure developments in accordance with the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993.
- Fire System Assessments and Servicing including fire hydrants, fire hose reels and fire extinguishers (aimed at assisting managing agents as well as complexes directly).
- Site Maps, Emergency Response Plans and Evacuation Strategies aimed at identifying problems before they become problems and develop solutions to address these issues such as fire tender access, limited space and evacuation strategies.
- An Advanced Life Support based medical response system dedicated to our clients reducing the response times in the event of an incident occurring.
- Monthly report generation to aid in the development of policies used by body corporate trustees, home owners association directors, business owners and business park management teams.
- Training that includes recognised and unit standard aligned CPR courses, First Aid courses, Fire Fighting courses and Evacuation Procedure courses.
- Quotation and supply of firefighting equipment and health and safety signage.
All of the above are available through either a once off project or through a tailored monthly service level agreement.