All too often we purchase our fire extinguishers, place them, and figure that from there on, we are set! Right? Well…not quite. Whether in your home or your business, you need to periodically inspect your fire extinguishers to be sure that they are in good shape and ready to use in the event they are needed.
How Do I Inspect A Fire Extinguisher?
- Look at the gauge. Is the arrow in the green? If not, the fire extinguisher should be serviced or replaced.
- Is the pin in place and the tamper seal tight? If either have come out, there is a possibility of a partial discharge and loss of pressure.
- Are the instructions on the tag legible? You should be able to read the operating instructions and warnings provided by the fire extinguisher manufacturer.
- Inspect the body of the fire extinguisher. Are there any signs of damage? Has it been dropped and dented? Are there signs of corrosion? Is the handle bent? Has the hose been abraded?
- Check for the most recent annual service date by a certified professional. Fire extinguishers should be serviced by a certified professional annually.
- Turn the fire extinguisher upside down and allow the media inside to fall. This mixes things up so that the material inside the fire extinguisher doesn’t get hard and end up stuck in the bottom when you go to use it.
- Accessibility/Visibility – Your fire extinguisher won’t do you any good if it isn’t easily accessible. A designated location that is delineated makes your fire extinguisher easy to find in the event of an emergency.