We all hope that we will never need to use our fire extinguishers, but it is important to have peace of mind that your fire extinguisher will work if you need it. Fire extinguishers should not only be inspected for proper functioning before they are installed but also on a regular basis afterward. Generally, this means checking it on a monthly basis. A regular fire extinguisher inspection requires certain procedures to help ensure that your extinguisher is able to help you in times of emergency.
Why are Fire Extinguisher Inspections Necessary?
There are several reasons you should be inspecting your fire extinguishers on a regular basis, which include:
- To help make sure your fire extinguisher is properly working in a time of need
- To keep your fire extinguisher up to codes
- To check for rust, corrosion, or other damage that may cause malfunctions
- To check that it is full
- To check that your extinguisher is accessible and easy to reach location
- To put you at ease knowing you have access to a first line of defense device for small fires
National Fire Protection Association Requirements (NFPA 10)
NFPA 10 is the code for standard portable fire extinguishers. NFPA has certain codes of procedures, frequencies, and recordkeeping for fire extinguishers.
Procedures of a Fire Extinguisher Inspection:
- Ensure there is easy access to the fire extinguisher (typically somewhere in regular paths of travel)
- Make sure it is in its proper location
- Make sure it is visible and properly labeled
- Make sure the pressure gauge is in the correct functioning range and position
- Make sure it is at its full capacity
- Operate non-rechargeable extinguishers push-to-test pressure indicators
- Check that wheeled extinguishers have functional tires, hoses, and nozzles
Frequency of Inspections:
- Extinguishers should be inspected when they are initially installed
- They should be regularly checked on a monthly basis
- Extinguishers in areas prone to higher rust, tampering, or impact should be inspected more frequently
Records of the Inspection:
- Records should be taken of each monthly inspection
- A label or tag should be made for the extinguisher and should also be filed on paper or electronically
- The record must include the month, year, and person conducting the inspection
Repairs and Service
Any repairs or service that needs to be done upon inspection should be done by a certified professional. Service should be performed according to procedures stated by NFPA 10 and be recorded.
Western States Fire Protection Fire Extinguisher Inspections
With a better understanding of the importance of regular fire extinguisher inspections, now is the time to set up your regular checks. At Western States Fire Protection, we offer inspections weekly, monthly, quarterly, bi-annually, and annually, depending on current codes and insurance policies. With fire extinguishers, we can set your monthly fire extinguisher inspections that follow these NFPA 10’s codes. With portable fire extinguisher inspections, we also provide our customers with hands-on training on what they need to know. Schedule an inspection from your nearest WSFP office to help make sure your extinguishers are able to help you in times of emergency.