We were recently advised that as of the end of January 2018 all fluorinated foams used in fire suppression systems in South Australia are prohibited from use.
Am I affected
If you have a foam/AFFF fire extinguisher on your site then you will be required to replace it at the next level 2/annual service. The non fluorinated foams are not compatible with your current foam fire extinguisher as they require different aerating nozzles. Retrofitting these to current fire extinguishers results in a fire extinguisher that does not comply with Australian Standards.
Some sites have foam pickups linked to hose reels. These will need to be upgraded to be compatible with the new foam.
Why are they being banned?
Fluorine is a chemical that does not break down in the environment. It is also a hazardous chemical that can build up over time to toxic levels, especially in ground water.
This link takes you to the SA government website where more detailed information can be found on the ban. You may find this website off line while the government is closed for elections.
But there is a 2 year amnesty?
The 2 year amnesty is to enable the equipment to be replaced over the natural maintenance activities of the equipment. Foam/AFFF Fire Extinguishers are serviced every 6 months, so at this service they are required to be replaced.
FESSA staff will advise you on what equipment is required to be replaced, or potentially retired from service. In some cases alternative fire equipment may replace existing Foam/AFFF fire extinguishers.
How much will it cost?
Each site is unique and will be affected differently. As a guide the retail cost of a Foam/AFFF fire extinguisher is $228 plus GST.
If you want to understand how your site is affected please call us on 8262 9245 or talk to our service technician next time they are on site.