Frequently Asked Questions Government Inspection Mark
Here you will find the most frequently asked questions about the Government Inspection Mark. Do you want to know more? Contact us directly via +31 (0)88 - 998 51 00 or NL.firstname.lastname@example.org.
FAQ Government Inspection Mark
What color should a fire extinguisher be?
NEN-EN-3 +A1:2007 stipulates that the color of an extinguisher must be red (RAL 3000).
How long is a State Type Approval valid?
The 1997 Portable Extinguisher Decree stipulates that fire extinguishers must have a State Type Approval before they can be sold, used or imported on the Dutch market. A State Type Approval number is issued for five years and must then be renewed. It has also been determined that the State Type Approval remains valid as long as the supplier or manufacturer can supply original parts. Including the extinguishing agent specified in the type approval. This means that devices already available on the market must be serviceable. After five years, the importer may no longer import devices under the old, expired number and therefore no longer sell the still existing stock under the old state type approval number.
How can I see if an extinguisher is approved?
All extinguishers approved for The Netherlands have an ellipse on the label containing the State Type Approval. You can check whether it is a valid State Type label under ‘Search for a State Type label’.
- The inner ellipse contains the rank number, with a digit height of 6 mm;
- The outer ellipse lists the following, with a letter and number height of 3 mm:
- At the top: the third and fourth digits of the year and month of issue of the type-examination certificate in two digits (for example 05-04 = year 2005, month of April);
- On the left the \"B\" of \"Decree on portable extinguishers\";
- On the right the year of the Portable Fire Extinguisher Decree;
- At the bottom the letters \"BZ\" of \"Internal Affairs\".
For which fire extinguishers a State Type Approval is required?
In the Portable Extinguisher Decree 1997, an extinguisher is understood to mean: an object intended for fighting fire that can be put into operation and kept in operation by carrying out simple actions, the arrangement of which is such that the fighting of fire takes place by means of a filling contained in the extinguisher and of which the ready-to-use mass does not exceed 20 kg. Therefore there is clearly no minimum specified, every extinguisher, no matter how small, must comply with the Decree.
What does the rating of an extinguisher mean?
The extinguishing capacity of an extinguisher depends on the quality of the appliance, as well as the quantity and type of extinguishing agent. The extinguishing capacity is indicated in a number (rating) and is stated on the appliance. This rating is determined by subjecting the extinguisher to so-called standardised fires. The device is approved if the required rating is achieved. On the control label, also called transfer, you can find the achieved rating, for example 34A 233B C.
What fire classes are there?
Fire class A
- Fuel: Solids that burn under glow
- Characteristics: Glow and flames
- Examples: Wood, paper, textiles, non-melting plastics\
Fire class B
- Fuel: Liquids and melting solids
- Characteristics: Flames
- Examples: Solvents, petrol, oil, wax, grease and plastics
- For combustible polar substances (e.g. alcohol), additional testing must be carried out by an accredited test house. The report must be submitted in accordance with EN3-10:2009. Part polar substances.
Fire class C
- Fuel: Gases
- Characteristics: Flames
- Examples: Propane, butane, natural gas, LPG and acetylene
Fire class D
- Fuel: Metals
- Characteristics: Glow
- Examples: Sodium, magnesium and aluminium
Fire class F
- Fuel: Oil and fats
- Characteristics: Flames
- Examples: Deep fryers and motor oil
Which extinguisher is suitable for which fire?
Foam extinguishers are generally used for offices or similar situations. These fire extinguishers have a high extinguishing capacity on solids (A class) and are reasonably safe to use with electronics, such as computers, copiers and faxes. After an extinguishing action, the foam can easily be cleaned up with water. Powder extinguishers are normally used when the fire risk is high or in areas where the powder has no adverse effect. For example, outside at gas stations. The carbon dioxide snow extinguisher (CO₂ extinguisher) is a special fire extinguisher that is recommended in high-quality technical areas, such as server rooms. Fire extinguishers with fire class F have been developed for specific fire risks such as grease and oil fires. The D extinguisher has been developed for metal fires.
What does eco-label (SMK) mean for fire extinguishers?
The eco-label ‘Milieukeur’ on extinguishers means that these are considerably less harmful to the environment than similar extinguishers. Requirements are set for the use of substances that are hazardous to health and the environment. For example, no substances may be used in the extinguishing agent that are classified according to European rules as (very) toxic, harmful, corrosive or sensitising. In addition, requirements are set for functional quality and product information. If the extinguisher meets the requirements, the quality mark may be applied to the extinguisher. Approved fire extinguishers with an eco-label can be found on the SMK website.
By whom and how often should an extinguisher be maintained?
Regular checks and maintenance of small extinguishers must take place. Proper maintenance of fire extinguishers is a job for professionals. They must have a thorough understanding of the products they need to check and maintain and must know all about their operation and the control and maintenance aspects that are vital for proper operation. Maintenance must be done in accordance with the instruction as laid down in NEN 2559. This stipulates that maintenance of small extinguishers must take place annually. Click here for an overview of all aspects of NEN 2559.
In 2010, the Dutch government wanted to change the maintenance requirement for small fire extinguishers in the context of reducing the burden on the business community and decided to set it at least once every two years. This has been confirmed in the new Building Decree (Bouwbesluit)_2012. More often is allowed, but not required by law. Various other laws (Dangerous Substances Decree, Environmental Legislation, etc.) sometimes require an annual check. Maintenance companies must comply with all laws and must therefore look at, assess and agree on the frequency with which maintenance must be carried out for each customer. An important aspect here is that hose reels are also present at many objects where maintenance is to be carried out and these must be maintained annually. In addition, many insurers require that maintenance of fire extinguishers be carried out annually. Click here for an overview of companies that are recognized for maintenance of portable fire extinguisher
What is a State Type Approval authorisation?
For extinguishers that only:
a. Are intended for experimental purposes,
b. Are intended for exhibitions,
c. Are intended for use as a sample for an inspection to be performed pursuant to the Portable Extinguisher Decree, or
d. Are in The Netherlands temporarily without the intention to trade them with a view to use in the Netherlands, NCP Certification, on behalf of the Ministry of the Interior, can (in accordance with Article 4 of the Portable Extinguishers Decree), issue an authorisation permitting these extinguishers and associated fillings in to feed.
How many fire extinguishers are needed in a building?
NEN 4001:2005 nl describes the projecting of portable and mobile fire extinguishers in buildings, with the exception of private homes. When drawing up this standard, the extinguishing capacity of fire extinguishers in accordance with NEN-EN 3-7 and NEN-EN 1866 has been used as the basis.
If an extinguisher has a CE marking, is the State Type Approval still necessary?
Portable fire extinguishers are covered by the Pressure Equipment Directive (97/23 EC of May 29, 1997). The directive does not only apply in the Netherlands, but in all countries of the European market. A declaration of conformity by a Notified Body is required to demonstrate that the extinguisher complies with this directive. Once this declaration has been issued, the CE mark may be affixed to the extinguisher. The CE mark says nothing about the extinguishing properties of the device, only that it is safe with regard to pressure resistance.
Placing portable extinguishers inside buildings
In the Netherlands the standard "Fire protection - Projecting portable and mobile fire extinguishers; NEN4001; 1966" is applicable.
The fire protection of a building includes many measures, which must always be considered in conjunction. Fire extinguishers are an important part of these measures, but they do not eliminate the need for other measures such as the installation of fire hose reels, dry extinguishing lines, sprinklers, extinguishing systems or fire detection. Fire extinguishers are very valuable in the early stages of a fire, when their rapid portability and immediate availability allow a rapid extinguishing attempt. Due to the necessary coherence in the fire protection measures, this standard assumes that a fire risk assessment has been carried out for the building to be protected, and that the locations, risks and consequences of possible fires have been identified. With this standard, those responsible for design and installation can arrive at a responsible projection of the fire extinguishers. This standard can also be applied when testing existing situations.
This standard applies to the establishment and maintenance of fire safety in buildings, including the associated industrial sites, and has been drawn up for all those involved in fire safety.
This standard describes the design of portable and mobile fire extinguishers in buildings, with the exception of private homes. When drawing up this standard, the extinguishing capacity of fire extinguishers in accordance with NEN-EN 3-7 and NEN-EN 1866 has been used as the basis.
This standard does not replace statutory provisions in the field of fire safety facilities, such as the storage of hazardous substances (PGS 15) or the Fireworks Decree.
The standard contains tables that give direction to the placement and use of extinguishers. Table 1 indicates the suitability of extinguishing agents. We advise you to apply this standard.
The standard describes the minimum level of basic security in a building. For basic security, at least a 6 kg extinguisher is required. See table 2 of the standard for this.
The standard also contains guidelines in paragraph 4.4.2 regarding additional security in addition to the basic security. Paragraph 22.214.171.124 describes that extinguishers for additional protection can have a smaller volume and a different extinguishing agent than the extinguishers that are projected in the context of basic protection.
Class B for alcohol
Portable fire extinguishers can be classified for liquid fires. These are hydrocarbon fires. The test is standardized in the EN3-7+A1: 2007 "Portable fire extinguishers - Part 7 - Characteristics, performance requirements and test methods". Liquid fires mainly have heptane as the test liquid.
However, specific applications require portable fire extinguishers that can be used for alcohol fires. If a portable extinguisher from Kiwa NCP is to be approved for the use of alcohol, it will have to be specifically tested for this. Based on a test performed according to EN3-7+A1: 2007 by an accredited laboratory with a relevant alcohol, in addition to the standard "B" classification based on heptane, an additional classification can be obtained for alcohol. For fire class "B", the standard is tested with heptane (a-polar). In addition, testing can be done for polar substances, in which case testing is done with acetone. If the applicability with heptane and acetone is not sufficient for the user, additional testing can be done with other (fuel) substances. The extinguisher must at least be tested with heptane to justify its "B" rating. Further rating determination is according to EN3-7+A1: 2007.
The fact that the portable extinguisher can also be used additionally for the extinguishing of alcohol will have to be clearly marked on the label and can then be included in the state type approval.