A fire extinguisher is an essential part of your fire safety measures. Placing it in an accessible place is a good start. However, fire extinguishers need frequent inspection, service, and checks, making sure that they will work when you need them.
Fire extinguishers have different types. You have probably seen a few types in your workplace; regardless of if the extinguisher’s type, fire extinguisher checks typically follow the same pattern: monthly, annually, and five to ten years.
Frequently checking your fire extinguishers is crucial. After all, it won’t be good if it doesn’t work correctly or doesn’t work at all by the time you need it.
Some inspections are simple, that you can do it yourself anytime. On the other hand, most inspections and services require professional expertise.
Monthly checks are simple, and anyone in your workplace can be assigned to do this inspection. Checking the fire extinguishers every month should be a part of your establishment’s fire safety measures, along with testing the alarms and access routes.
You must check the following:
- The fire extinguishers are in the right places
- The fire extinguishers are accessible without any obstruction
- The fire extinguishers haven’t been used
- The fire extinguishers have the right pressure
- The fire extinguishers have no damage
Workplaces are busy places where people move things. They may put stuff in places that can block the access to the fire extinguishers thinking that they are still accessible if you know where the extinguishers are. However, in an emergency, most people don’t have time to look for fire extinguishers. Monthly checks ensure that the extinguishers are in the right place, visible, and accessible to everyone.
Moreover, it is crucial to ensure that fire extinguishers have not been used and have the right pressure. Otherwise, it will be useless with fire breaks out. Furthermore, if you find any damage, you can call the fire extinguisher company to repair or replace your equipment if needed.
Most fire extinguishers need yearly services done by a professional. These checks are more detailed compared to monthly checks.
Annual check n includes:
- Checking the safety pins and replace it if needed
- Checking head cap
- Checking labels
- Checking hose
- Look for signs of corrosion
- Pressure and weight checks
- Make sure that the pressure gauge is working
- Replacing the components if needed
- Replace charges and cartridges if needed
- Wipe down
- Checking the sign
- Checking the wall mount
- New tamper seal
- Completing the service label
The professionals’ specific service will vary depending on the fire extinguisher type and how it operates. Most fire extinguishers require annual servicing. However, you must check your equipment for the servicing schedule. On the other hand, some types of fire extinguishers don’t need the same annual inspection. Always follow the guidelines provided by the fire extinguisher manufacturer to make sure that it is in top shape all the time.
Five to ten years check
Even with annual fire extinguisher checks, you have to remember that they don’t last forever. Its contents and parts age over time. Depending on the type, the equipment needs refills or replacement every five to ten years.
Powder, water, and foam types need checking every five years and ten years for carbon dioxide. To keep the fire extinguishers working properly, they usually need refilling at five years and replacement at ten. However, it may happen sooner if the technician finds any problems with the equipment.
It is vital to make sure that your equipment is working properly. Ensure that you don’t miss these checks to keep your fire extinguisher at its best all the time.