Advice and Opinion

Bidvest Steiner's new fire division offers free extinguishers

With fire damage costing the South African economy and estimated R3.1 billion annually, leading hygiene and related services firm Bidvest Steiner has launched a maintenance and compliance service aimed at hand-held fire equipment.

Monthly inspections coupled with annual servicing will enable organisations to rest assured that all legislative and insurance requirements have been complied with.
Government has put extensive legislation in place to help mitigate the risks posed by fire. Few business leaders realise that all buildings are required to have fire extinguishers, in addition to any automatic sprinklers or other fixed equipment that may also exist.

Applicable legislation includes the Occupational Health and Safety Act and the National Building Act. Specifications are laid down by the South African Bureau of Standards, and enforced by the South African Qualifications and Standards Committee.

“Fire extinguishers are easy to forget about, but when you need them, they have to work—that’s why the legal requirements are so stringent,” says Morne Lourens from Bidvest Steiner. “Our new service leverages the fact that we already have teams on site monthly servicing hygiene equipment all over the country, a great opportunity to add value to our clients by helping them to comply with the law as well as prevent unnecessary loss of life or property in the event of a fire. Using our service will also facilitate the payment of insurance claims.”

Bidvest Steiner will supply new equipment free of charge, as well as appropriate signage, as well as assisting with the evacuation plan. If clients already have equipment, Bidvest Steiner will assess its state and, if appropriate, buy it from the client. Faulty equipment is replaced at no additional cost and the necessary compliance documentation is supplied and updated regularly for the duration of the contract.

“A further innovation is our ability to give risk managers access to an online portal to personally manage and check the company’s fire-equipment compliance which is a significant reduction of time and effort for a large organisation,” says Lourens. “This is something no other provider can offer. In addition, servicing is scheduled and followed up via Bidvest Steiner’s sophisticated and credible scheduling capability, removing yet another administrative headache for clients.”