Acquisition, operation and maintenance


Portable fire extinguishers are acquired by order of the authorities, by statutory requirement or voluntarily. Portable fire extinguishers are not difficult to use but the threshold to using one may be high if its use has not been practiced in advance. Portable fire extinguishers are sold by portable fire extinguisher businesses and e.g. by hardware stores, hardware departments in supermarkets and auto supply stores. Rescue departments and rescue associations, organisations and many training companies provide safety training that allows participants to practice the use of portable fire extinguishers and other first-aid extinguishing equipment under the guidance of professionals.


Portable fire extinguishers shall be inspected at intervals of no less than one year if the extinguisher is stored in a manner that exposes it to factors impacting on working condition such as moisture, vibration or changes in temperature. In other cases, portable fire extinguishers shall be inspected at intervals of no less than two years. The time of the first inspection is determined by the time of manufacture of the extinguisher. The container may have been manufactured before that, but it is the time of the first filling of the container which counts. If the extinguisher's time of manufacture is given to an accuracy of one year, the assumed time of manufacture of the extinguisher is early January that year.


Under the Rescue Act, the occupant of a residence shall make sure that the extinguishing equipment prescribed by the authorities is in working order and has been properly maintained and inspected.


Portable fire extinguisher businesses provide maintenance and inspection of the equipment. The inspection of portable fire extinguisher refers to measures to determine the extinguisher is in working order while maintenance refers to measures to render the extinguisher into working order. Tukes runs a register of portable fire extinguisher businesses.


Tukes monitors the conformity of portable fire extinguishers available on the market in Finland. Tukes acquires extinguishers from the market, has them tested and takes the necessary action, if the extinguishers do not meet requirements. Non-conforming products may be recalled from the market if necessary.


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