Important! Previous exemptions for imported fire extinguishers have been withdrawn and replaced with new regulations

The Chief Inspector issued an exemption in December 2016 granting approval that mild steel carbon dioxide extinguishers, which were imported after October 2009 and which did not undergo the necessary conformity assessment review, be kept in service on the condition that these extinguishers be subjected to a 5 year pressure testing interval and thereafter a 10 yearly interval.

The SAQCC Fire has since been sharing the information with competent persons on how to deal with such cylinders. However, during 2019, various industry stakeholders approached the Department of Education and Labour to clarify certain aspects regarding the interpretation of the exemption and to extend it to include all other seamless steel cylinders for compressed gas usage manufactured and marked BS5045/1 such as eg SCUBA cylinders.

Thus the Department issued a revised letter of exemption on 19 December 2019 wherein the prior letter was withdrawn and a revised exemption was issued. So as to be clear to all 1475 competent persons involved with the reconditioning of mild steel CO2 extinguishers, the implications are that this letter is much more detailed than before and deals with certain queries pertaining to withdrawn standards and the validity of hydrostatic testing and inspection. To summarize:

  • Cylinders manufactured after 12 September 2005 will be subject to a hydrostatic test and inspection within 5 years of the date of manufacture
  • Any mild steel CO2 extinguisher that has not undergone a hydrostatic test and inspection within 5 years of the date of manufacture by the latest 31 December 2020, shall be deemed non-compliant and shall be removed from service as per the prescribed legal procedures

The letter also deals quite clearly with queries regarding the withdrawal of the BS5045/1 in May 2000 and the publication of SANS 1825:2005 in September 2005 as there was an interpretation in the industry that cylinders manufactured in that period should be rejected even if it is stamped BS5045/1

Click here to read the revised letter of exemption in full.

Should you have queries regarding the interpretation of this letter of exemption, please contact the SAQCC Fire’s offices or email

About Us

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The South African Qualification & Certification Committee (SAQCC) Fire is an industry-elected body, established to ensure that servicing and maintenance of fire protection equipment is conducted according to the specifications laid out in SANS 1475 and, more importantly, that technicians have the correct training, qualifications and experience.

Following a directive given to the SAQCC-Fire by the Department of Employment and Labour, an additional SAQCC-fire detection and gas suppression committee was set upto establish and implement procedures for the qualification and certification of authorised persons in order to ensure safety, quality of work and high standards of excellence within the industry.

SAQCC-Fire works closely with Certification Bodies approved by the Department of Employment and Labour to ensure standards are met and technicians and servicing companies adhere to the law.

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