Basic ﬁre safety begins with reliable and well-maintained ﬁre extinguishers. These fire protection devices are your ﬁrst line of defense against ﬁres that can prevent ﬂames from turning into conﬂagrations. As critical as they may be, ﬁre extinguishers often remain where they were initially set up and are completely forgotten. Everybody hopes that they may never need to use one, but there is nothing worse than discovering too late that your ﬁre extinguisher is not working properly once a fire has begun.
This is why it’s so important to take no chances with ﬁre extinguisher maintenance and call up professional assistance to be certain that your extinguishers will work as intended should the need arise.
How Often to Check Fire Extinguishers
You need to check up on your ﬁre extinguishers each and every year (at minimum) to ensure that they are in good working condition. In addition, you need more testing every six years to conﬁrm problem-free operation. Internal maintenance is necessary for ABC extinguishers every six years, while hydrostatic testing is required every 12 years.
If your ﬁre extinguishers have been idle for a long time, then they may require recharging. You should discuss these needs with your ﬁre protection equipment supplier, and set a schedule to inspect and recharge your facility’s extinguishers.
Fire Extinguisher Inspection – How it’s Done
During our annual inspections, we check for the following to make sure that your ﬁre extinguishers are in top condition:
Accessibility – Fire extinguishers should be positioned so that you can reach them easily in an emergency. We check to see that ﬁre extinguishers are placed in a highly conspicuous spot where everyone can see and access them. There should be no obstructions that can get in the way of easy access and visibility.
Physical Condition – We check all working parts including the cylinder, nozzle and locking pins to ﬁnd defects such as leaks, corrosion and other problems that could hamper performance. The locking pin and the tamper seal should both be intact. The nozzle should be inspected for blockages.
Pressure Gauge – The pressure gauge should indicate pressure in the right range for safe operation. Lifting the extinguisher is a simple way to conﬁrm how full it is. Instructions – the instructions should be clear and legible. Any faded decals should be replaced, as these instructions can be a critical factor in an emergency.
Inspection Tag – It is important to know when the last inspection was carried out, so each unit should be tagged with inspection dates so it’s easy to tell if the unit has been check out at least once during the past 12 months. The date of the current inspection is also noted down on the tag for future reference.
Report and Records – We prepare a report that outlines the condition of all your ﬁre extinguishers and recommended maintenance procedures—or replacements—if required.
Federal and state regulations may require a professional ﬁre protection company to inspect all commercial ﬁre safety equipment. If you have questions about inspecting your ﬁre suppression system, contact us now and enjoy a world-class service by NAFED-certiﬁed technicians. We look forward to protecting you!