New safety standard for portable non-aerosol fire extinguishers

20 December 2021

A new mandatory safety standard for portable non-aerosol fire extinguishers, published today, will improve existing performance and identification requirements, to reduce the risk of a fire extinguisher not operating correctly during a fire.

The new standard, issued by the Australian Government, replaces the existing standard and strengthens the safety requirements for the labelling and testing of non-aerosol fire extinguishers.

“Fires spread rapidly, risking life and property within seconds and it is vital that fire extinguishers undergo stringent design and construction requirements and testing, before they are supplied,” ACCC Deputy Chair Delia Rickard said.

“The safety standard maintains these important consumer protections, so Australians can continue to have confidence in the safety of fire extinguishers and have easy access to important product information.”

The safety standard is based on the latest voluntary Australian standard, which will ease the regulatory burden for businesses supplying safe fire extinguishers. This standard provides greater clarity to suppliers through new requirements for filling tolerances and labelling, and greater compliance choice for certain testing requirements.

The safety standard applies to the supply of new, and imported second-hand products supplied in Australia for the first time.

“Under the Australian Consumer Law, suppliers of portable fire extinguishers must comply with the safety standard to protect individuals from harm, or risk fines and penalties,” Ms Rickard said.

Non-aerosol fire extinguishers contain substances including water, wet chemical, foam or powder that are discharged in a rapid stream to extinguish a small fire.

Background

The new safety standard, issued by the Australian Government, provides a transition period of 12 months. During the transition period suppliers must meet the requirements of either the:

  • Consumer Goods (Portable Non-aerosol Fire Extinguishers) Safety Standard 2021, or;
  • Consumer Protection Notice No. 3 of 2004 – Consumer Product Safety Standard: Portable Fire Extinguishers.

After the transition period, suppliers must meet the requirements of the Consumer Goods (Portable Non-aerosol Fire Extinguishers) Safety Standard 2021 only.

More information about the new safety standard is available on the Product Safety Australia website.

Release number: 
219/21
ACCC Infocentre: 

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Media enquiries: 
Media Team - 1300 138 917, media@accc.gov.au

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