How Often Should Fire Extinguishers Be Inspected And How To Do It?

How often should fire extinguishers be inspected

The fire extinguisher is fire fighting equipment used in commercial, industrial and residential to control small fires in an emergency. Every fire fighting equipment must be inspected to ensure safety, such as any leakages. However, knowing how often should fire extinguishers be inspected is vital to ensure the functionality of the fire extinguisher.

The fire extinguisher is a  portable life-saving equipment; you must confirm if your fire extinguishers are in good condition. In case of an emergency, when your fire extinguisher is needed the most, this can push you into a hazardous situation, if not properly maintained or is in a poor condition.

The fire extinguisher inspection is testing that runs to check the issues in the fire extinguisher; the examination is expected for the maintenance. A fire extinguisher inspection in basic is conducted to check for any leakages, corrosions, clogged nozzles, or other physical damage.

Types Of Fire Extinguishers

There are namely three types of fire extinguishers along with the colours that denote the fire extinguisher; they are

  1. Water – The water fire extinguisher is labelled red in the cylinder; this is used to execute fire from solid materials such as wood, paper and textiles.
  2. Carbon dioxide – The cylinder is labelled black in the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher; the carbon dioxide fire extinguisher is designed to control fires in flammable liquid and electrical fires.
  3. AFFF foam – The label of the AFFF foam fire extinguisher is cream in colour, this type of fire extinguisher can help control the fires of the mentioned types and control the fire effectively.

How To Use A Fire Extinguisher?

The fire extinguishers are easy to use with few steps; all you have to do is follow the instructions given below,

  1. Pull the pin out to remove the seal.
  2. Aim the nozzle to the area of the fire, maintaining a distance
  3. Press the handles together to release the extinguishing components out; release the handles when you want to stop
  4. When pressing the handles, do not aim at one place; instead, use a swinging movement or sweeping movement to move the cylinder side to side when the components are released

How Often Should Fire Extinguishers Be Inspected?

The solution to how often should fire extinguishers be inspected depends on the type of fire extinguisher you have.

There are different inspections for a fire extinguisher that should be inspected in different time lapses. The three types of fire extinguishers inspection are the visual fire extinguisher inspection, fire extinguisher inspection for the maintenance and the Internal inspection of the fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher is often inspected based on the three types of inspection, using different methods and ways.

The three types of fire extinguishers inspection are given in detail, and how often the fire extinguishers must be inspected.

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How To Inspect A Fire Extinguisher Externally?

The external inspection of the fire extinguisher is the most common. A visual inspection is given to the fire extinguisher, checking for visible damages.

The external inspection of the fire extinguisher is the examination of any leakages,  corrosions or clogged nozzles; this includes checking the pressure gauge and making sure the indicator is in the operating range, assuring the pull pin of the fire extinguisher is still intact.

Keep yourself updated on the last time you ran a professional inspection. The external inspection of the fire extinguishers often takes place once a month.

Maintenance Inspection of the Fire Extinguisher

The inspection for the maintenance of the fire extinguishers takes place once a year; this fire extinguisher inspection must be examined by a professional fire protection company that has services to examine the fire extinguisher.

During the maintenance of the fire extinguisher inspection, it is expected to fix the problems in fire extinguishers and repair if needed by the professionals.

Proper knowledge is needed to run the maintenance inspection on the fire extinguisher, or it can cause damage to it. The professionals have tools used to inspect the issues in a fire extinguisher and tools that can fix the problem in the fire extinguisher. The inspection corrects the faults of the fire extinguishers and safeguards you from any potential hazardous emergency.

After the maintenance inspection of the fire extinguisher is over, a tag will be provided with the inspection date, the tag is valid for a year, and you can contact a professional after the inspection date is past for inspections and replacements.

The whole advantage of running the inspection is maintaining the fire extinguisher and avoiding any damage.

How To Inspect A Fire Extinguisher Internally?

The internal inspection of the fire extinguisher cannot be seen very often; this is the least nth the fire extinguisher is inspected. For the internal inspection of the fire extinguisher, a professional must be hired by a fire protection company. Special tools will be used to examine and inspect the internal of the fire extinguisher.

The internal inspection of the fire extinguishers is often taken place every five years – to 6 years or 12 years.

The fire extinguishers contain wet and dry chemicals in the internals; these chemicals may not be effective as the time passes; this inspection is about the component of the fire extinguisher to check if it is working correctly.

A fire extinguisher contains both types of components, such as the wet and dry component that are used to execute the fire, the wet components in the fire extinguisher includes pressurized water, carbon dioxide, potassium bicarbonate etc. a hydrostatical test is used to run an inspection on the wet chemical every five years to 6 years while dry components such as sodium bicarbonate, potassium bicarbonate, nitrogen etc. typically run an inspection every 12 years.

For the fire extinguisher to be hydrostatically tested, the cylinder must be emptied and sunk underwater, and then the fire extinguisher is put through pressure. If the fire extinguishers fail the test, the cylinder will be destroyed, where otherwise the fire extinguisher will be recharged and refilled, returning to the service.

Conclusion

A fire extinguisher is needed in-home, mall, school or any place; it is vital to ensure that your fire extinguisher is in good condition and well maintained; hence the fire extinguisher inspection is essential to safeguard yourself from any potentially hazardous situations.

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