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New L3 Award in the Servicing and Maintenance of Portable Fire Extinguishers

EAL has been working with the British Fire Consortium (BFC) in the design and development of a new qualification which covers the servicing and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers for compliance with BS 5306.

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This British Standard gives detailed recommendations for the commissioning, installation, service, and maintenance of fire extinguishers.

Although BS 5306 is not a mandatory requirement, it is widely adopted by professional service and maintenance companies. This qualification is for those who wish to gain the understanding and skills involved with the servicing and maintenance of portable fire extinguishers, typically these individuals are Fire Safety Officers or are working with a service and maintenance company.

Joe Newman from the BFC says that ‘Fire extinguisher technicians maintain life safety equipment, so their job helps to keep people safe and as such it needs to be respected as an important profession. A regulated qualification reflects the importance of the training and the eventual work of the qualified technician. The BFC has been concerned for many years by the proliferation of organisations and companies offering fire extinguisher technician training with little or no regulation. The concerns include the training provided, the training conditions, the qualifications of the tutors, the final examination and at what level it is taught and examined. However at the end of all these various processes the delegate is deemed competent to service extinguishers both under the law and the British Standard. The BFC feel that the awarding of certificates should be regulated and subject to some sort of scrutiny. The creation of a recognised qualification in collaboration with EAL was much needed within the industry’.

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The qualification comprises of a single unit which covers the understanding of the relevant legislation, regulations, and codes of practice; combustion, classes of fire and extinguisher media; fire extinguishers and their components; portable fire extinguisher selection and positioning; and the understanding and skills involved with portable fire extinguisher service and maintenance.

It is assessed by a Centre marked written paper, and practical assessment. It is graded pass (or fail) only and has 30 Guided Learning Hours (GLH) and a Total Qualification Time (TQT) 32 hours - which is the notional time required by the learner to complete the qualification.

Centres can apply to offer this new qualification via Smarter Touch by submitting a qualification application. Materials are available from EAL’s On-Line Services.

To find out more about this qualification please contact customer.experience@eal.org.uk or call 01923 652400.

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