Whether you are a commercial property owner, a homeowner, a hospital manager, or a school superintendent, fire extinguishers are essential fire safety equipment to have on the premises. Most often, having fire extinguishers is not just encouraged, but required by local fire codes and standards. Purchasing and distributing the appropriate number of fire extinguishers is only half of what is necessary to protect yourself and your property from fire. In order for fire extinguishers to provide you with peace of mind and perform as intended, you must maintain them with proper fire extinguisher services.
When Should a Fire Extinguisher be Serviced?
Fire extinguishers require routine maintenance and service since different parts of the fire extinguisher need to be checked at different intervals. Every month, a trained individual or someone who is familiar with extinguisher inspections should check those extinguishers are accessible, in the correct location, have clear and legible labels, have unaltered seals, and are not damaged in any way. These manual, in-house, monthly inspections should be kept on record and include the initials of the individual that has completed the inspection. Every year, your fire extinguisher service should include an annual inspection by a licensed professional like Keystone Fire Protection Co. Scheduling long term fire extinguisher service depends on the type of fire extinguisher. Carbon dioxide and water-based extinguishers need a hydrostatic test every 5 years. Stored pressure extinguishers need service every 6 years. Every 12 years, a hydrostatic test is required for stored-pressure and cartridge operated extinguishers. Check with a professional fire extinguisher services provider for more details on your long term fire extinguisher service requirements.
How do you Inspect a Fire Extinguisher?
Fire extinguisher inspections are different for monthly inspections versus annual inspections. Every month you will need to check for the following:
- There is a valid maintenance tag
- The extinguisher is charged and ready for use
- The extinguisher is not obscured from view and is clearly visible
- The tamper seal is intact
- The nameplate is visible
- The extinguisher is full
- There are no signs of physical damage
During an annual inspection, the proper function of your fire extinguisher will be determined by a professional. He/she will perform the following fire extinguisher services:
- Check that the canister is at full pressure. If the canister is not at full pressure it may not be able to function properly.
- Check that labels are legible and correct. Although detailed, improper labeling can cause damage or even injury by leading someone to use the device incorrectly.
- Check the fire extinguisher for damage. Common damages include dents, cracks, leaks, corrosion, and missing pins. These defects may reduce the effectiveness of the extinguisher.
Who can Service a Fire Extinguisher?
Although monthly inspections can be done in-house, it is prudent to have someone who is familiar with fire extinguishers perform these checks. Annual fire extinguisher service needs to be completed by a licensed professional like Keystone Fire Protection Co. Companies like Keystone have NICET certified technicians who can ensure fire extinguishers are inspected and working correctly. Calling in a professional to handle these inspections can help you feel safe and secure knowing experts in fire extinguisher service has checked your devices.
If you are unsure about the correct time intervals to service your fire extinguisher, contact Keystone Fire Protection Co. today! Without the proper fire extinguisher services, you are not only subjecting yourself to possible fines but also putting your safety at risk. Fire extinguisher service is only one fire protection service that may help protect yourself and your property. Visit Keystone Fire Protection Co. to find out more about other fire protection equipment and services.