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Fire Extinguisher Inspection and Maintenance Tips

By June 16, 2019Fire Safety News

Fire emergencies occur when we least expect it. Regular inspection of your fire suppression system is key if you want to be adequately protected in the event of a fire hazard. Call in a professional to come and test your fire extinguishers for you. Inspections can be done monthly or annually. Make sure you receive a report of the inspection once it’s done. This can protect you in the event of a fire emergency.

What to expect during a fire extinguisher inspection

The inspection process involves a physical and visual inspection and also tagging of the units. Expect the following activities to take place on the day of the inspection.

  • Visually check if the units can be easily accessed and are free from obstruction
  • Inspect the head cap for damage. Sometimes plastic head caps on fire extinguishers melt due to excess heat exposure.
  • Inspect the pressure gauge of the unit to ensure it’s still in green zone.
  • Check if the fire extinguishers are visible at all times
  • Ensure the tamper seal and pull-pin is present.
  • Inspect the case of the fire extinguisher for corrosion or any form of damage
  • Weigh the fire extinguisher to ensure it’s within the weight indicated on its label
  • Inspect the hose and nozzle of the extinguisher for damage
  • Confirm the date of the last inspection
  • Ensure all signage and labels are visible.

What happens during a monthly inspection?

Some buildings require monthly inspection due to the number of fire extinguishers present. During the monthly inspection, a quick check of the fire extinguishers is done to ensure they are visible and unobstructed and that the pressure gauge is still on green level.

Annual inspections are more detailed and include checking for physical damage or if a fire extinguisher recharge is needed.

Fire extinguisher repairs and maintenance services

Sometimes issues are uncovered when an inspection is done and this calls for repair and maintenance services. Issues that are identified during the inspection must be corrected immediately. The following guidelines are given on how to go about fire extinguisher problems identified during the inspection.

  • If a fire extinguisher is no longer rechargeable, it should be removed immediately and disposed of. It must be labeled ‘discharge and dispose of after any use’’.
  • Ensure that the safety clip of the fire extinguisher hasn’t been tampered with prior to handling the unit.
  • A new tamper seal must be installed once inspection/maintenance is done.
  • If the weight of the fire extinguisher has decreased by 10% from what’s indicated in the label, the unit must be recharged.
  • Recharging or refilling is recommended once a unit is used or annually during the inspection. Proper labeling must be done after recharging.
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers must be emptied after 6 years and all the components carefully examined before recharging it.
  • Dry chemical fire extinguishers must undergo hydrostatic testing every 12 years to ensure they can still hold pressure.
  • Wet chemical, stored-pressure and carbon dioxide fire extinguishers must undergo hydrostatic testing and an internal examination after 5 years to ensure they will function as intended during a fire hazard.