Wake Up & Smell The Fire

Fire Safety – Scam or Reality?

Yes, we all know that fire safety is an important topic and a critical service to be undertaken to ensure that all your essential safety equipment is maintained and ready to operate.

But the truth is that only some undertaking the maintenance task is suitable, trained, qualified and hold the appropriate insurance and licences required to rectify building fire safety.

So what steps should you think should be asked before engaging a fire safety company to do the required essential safety provisions maintenance within your building?

Smell The Scam

I have a saying if 2 + 2 dose not = 4, Smell A Rat.

The Pricing

If the fire safety provider pricing looks to good to be true, STOP, and ask why?

We will look at this analogy, in Australia most fire safety technicians (Non Trades) in 2023 are earning $30 – $35 per hour.

When a Company has to uniform them, run a vehicle, mobile phone, Super, Work Cover etc it costs that company $60 – $70 per hour to keep that tech on the road.
Then when you add admin on top for reporting, invoicing etc,  it could be costing up to $90 per hour,  – Got It.

The average fire safety technician will check 10 items per hour, So if a company is willing to certify items at $6.00 per test then they are earning $60.00 per hour.
2 + 2 dose not = 4, Smell A Rat.

The Pitch. 

If the Pitch is to good to be true ie,
our fire extinguisher never need to be retested or we will offer you free L4 5 yearly testing on your fire extinguishers.
2 + 2 dose not = 4, Smell A Rat.

For all your Fire Safety Maintenance in Adelaide.
Call us today on 1300 883 473 or
email us info@firesys.com.au

What To Do

Firstly don’t be like the three monkeys; ignorance could be your worst enemy.

Here are some simple questions to be asked.

  • Does the company have the appropriate licences and insurance to trade.
    Ask to see the current certificate of currency and any PGE licences they Hold.
  • Technicians are they certified and licensed?
    Fire Safety Technicians for “Fire Extinguishers + Fire Blankets” should hold a Cert ii and have at least a Plumbing PGE Licence.
    Trade Technicians “Plumbers & Electricians” all hold PGE Licence.
  • What reporting system is the company offering?
    A sales docket is not acceptable as per AS1851 certification. At least an Excel spreadsheet service book showing all the assist details, location and what was undertaken should be provided.
    Today, Quality Assured Cloud Based programs such as Up Tick / FireMate are becoming the industry standard for fire safety service providers.
  • Fire Extinguisher Retesting and Refills.
    Fire Extinguisher retesting and refills must be undertaken in a certified or licensed gas cylinder test station. Could you ask to see the evidence that this is being undertaken?

There was a SCAM being undertaken by some companies claiming that the fire extinguisher was undergoing their L4,  five-yearly testing.
The clients were being billed for the service, but the fire extinguishers were not being tested.

A test label similar to the photo below was placed onto the cylinder, and the yellow AS1851 maintenance tags were stamped with the number 4.

   

The Scam was the clients were being billed for tests not being undertaken, so the funds were being used to subsidise the cheap six monthly service fees; this was used to attract clients with low prices.

The issue was not that the equipment was being falsified and the clients were being taken advantage of, but there was no evidence that the fire extinguishers would operate when required.

I hope you’ll be able to sit up next time and ask who is coming in to certify my fire safety equipment.

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