When a fire erupts at your business premises, you will use the fire extinguishers to take it out at the very first instance. This is where you need to make sure that the fire extinguishers are in perfect condition. With proper inspections, you can easily make sure that all your fire extinguishers are in good shape and condition. Then you can keep peace of mind and start using the fire extinguishers when in need.
Many different types of fire extinguishers are available out there. Each type of fire extinguisher out of them requires different examination. To guarantee that they can function as intended when calamity hits unforeseen, each fire extinguisher inspection must also be able to pass tests for installation, recordkeeping, and maintenance. Extinguisher checks done correctly can be the difference between life and death in a fire.
Why are fire extinguisher inspections important?
Although there is little possibility that a fire extinguisher will be used, inspections of fire extinguishers are nevertheless vital since unforeseen events might happen. The worst case scenario is putting out a fire using a defective fire extinguisher, which poses serious safety risks to everyone.
Without your knowledge, fire extinguishers can sustain damage over time. Inspections are necessary to make sure there are no problems with outdated or faulty components in the future during times of necessity.
Making sure that the fire extinguishers are located where they are strategically meant to be is one of the inspections’ most crucial goals. It’s possible that many employees at your place of business don’t know where the closest fire extinguisher inspections are, which can be a big issue in certain circumstances.
Inspectors provide you the chance to learn about this element and demonstrate where you can locate one immediately in an emergency. Inspectors will check that these fire extinguishers are mounted in the appropriate bracket to prevent them from slipping off the wall and being damaged.
A step by step process for inspecting fire extinguishers
- Step 1 – Inspecting the surface
Make sure all of the extinguisher’s components are readily visible and fully intact before moving on to the next phase of the examination. This preliminary check should include the handle, hose, nozzle, security pin tag, and inspection tag. When potentially dangerous circumstances arise, fire extinguisher inspections are pointless without all of these components functioning correctly.
- Step 2 – Checking the tags
An inspection and/or maintenance tag should be affixed to the fire extinguisher itself for each one. This method of inspection is crucial to ensuring that your extinguisher has been correctly examined during the current month and to determine if it has recently undergone an examination. These tags are crucial so that you can keep a record of crucial details about your extinguisher. To make sure you follow NFPA guidelines, the serial/model number, expiry date, and status of the extinguisher are all crucial pieces of information that should be included on the tags.
- Step 3 – Inspecting the gauge
Your fire extinguisher inspections’ gauge should always be pointed in the direction of the green zone. Green denotes “Go” as in “ready to go and use,” so you can recall it immediately. The extinguisher is completely “charged” and prepared to function correctly in an emergency when the needle is in the green. The extinguisher has to be filled or completely replaced right away if the needle is pointing in any of the red zones. Never attempt to use a fire extinguisher that has a red light on it. This item won’t function correctly and might pose a serious threat to public safety where you want to use it.
- Step 4 – Inspecting the pin
Every fire extinguisher has a safety pin in place to prevent an unintentional discharge while the inspection is taking place. Some extinguishers, depending on the brand and type, feature a plastic security tag to prevent the pin from unintentionally slipping out. If these pins are missing and a discharge occurs, the area can quickly become enveloped in a white cloud. The safety pin is a vital element in the inspection process for fire extinguishers to ensure that this is always a safe piece of equipment since this can create a significant safety hazard for everyone around.
- Step 5 – Checking if the fire extinguisher is full
This is one of the most crucial phases since without it, the other ones are meaningless. By taking it up and feeling the weight of the internal agent, you can confirm that the extinguisher is full. You ought should be able to feel the agent swaying from side to side if you accomplish this properly. During this procedure, if you can’t feel it moving, the extinguisher is either empty or out of date. This simple procedure will enable you to determine if your equipment just needs to be recharged or needs to be replaced.
- Step 6 – Looking for damages and dents
In keeping with step one, this step digs a little further by looking at the extinguisher’s outside. When you go to use your extinguisher, dents, punctures, rust, or any other obvious physical damage might become a major issue. Even the smallest dent or rust indicator might render a fire extinguisher ineffective in an emergency.
Fire extinguishers can progressively leak over time, much like a tyre that has seen better days. These leaks cause the depressurization of this equipment and the discharge of gas. Even if the gas leak doesn’t endanger anybody nearby, it might render the fire extinguisher ineffective. An extinguisher with depressurization will make it impossible to use for certain situations, such as kitchen fires that cannot be extinguished with water and will put everyone at danger.
- Step 7 – Inspecting the hose of the fire extinguisher
Inspections of fire extinguishers won’t put out a fire if the hose isn’t in good functioning order. A defective hose can be caused by kinks, cracks, cylinder security, and breakage, which prevent the extinguisher agent from moving up the line. Look inside the hose while examining it to check for any blockages or clogs that can make it difficult to operate the extinguisher. You will need to have the hose changed, or in severe situations, the complete fire extinguisher, if the hose has obvious issues as described.
- Step 8 – Documentation and instruction sticker inspection
On the surface, the fire extinguisher instructions should always be readable and clear. It’s time to replace the extinguisher if these instructions are torn or lack important details. Never attempt to write your own instructions since doing so might violate several building codes and jeopardise the safety of everyone who uses the equipment.
Always remember to record your inspection on the given tag after the inspection is fully finished. This will make it easier for future inspections to determine when the most recent was completed and if everything is as current as it should be.