For your home or business to remain safe, it is important to maintain proper care of all fire extinguishers.
In order to ensure that they are available and operate properly when needed, both federal certification requirements and state licensure requirements mandate that all businesses properly inspect, test and maintain their portable fire extinguishers.
It is important to maintain your extinguisher and keep it in proper working order. Every extinguisher requires the basic monthly inspection, which you can perform yourself by checking the following three things:
Visible and accessible
Safety seals are not broken or missing
There is no evidence of physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogged nozzle
Pressure gauge readings are in the proper range or position
Operating instructions are legible and facing outward
Confirm fullness by weighing or lifting
When an extinguisher is recharged there should be a tag attached given the date of the recharge, the name of the person or name of the company that has performed the recharge. There should also be a “Verification of service” collar around the neck of the extinguisher and must include the month and year the service was performed.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance must be performed annually in accordance with local, state and national codes and regulations. This must be done by a professional who is trained and knowledgeable in the fire control industry. This annual maintenance is required to be recorded on a tag or label that should stay attached to each extinguisher. It should include the following:
The date maintenance was last performed and by whom
The date the extinguisher was recharged and by whom
The date of last 6 year maintenance and by whom
The date of last hydrostatic testing and by whom
Store Pressure ABC extinguishers require internal maintenance every 6 years and hydrostatic testing every 12 years.
Types of Fires
Fires that are in ordinary combustibles such as wood, paper, cloth, trash, and plastics.
Fires that are in flammable liquids such as gasoline, petroleum oil and paint. They are also in flammable gases such as propane and butane.
Fires that involve energized electrical equipment such as motors, transformers, and appliances.
Fires that are in combustible metals such as potassium, sodium, aluminum, and magnesium.
Fires that are in cooking oils and greases such as animals fats and vegetable fats.
Knowing what extinguisher to use for what fire is extremely important. Not understanding the proper extinguisher could cause the fire to re-ignite.
Types of Extinguishers
Water and Foam Extinguishers
Cartridge Operated Dry Chemical
PROPER FIRE EXTINGUISHER USE
P-ULL THE PIN. HOLD THE EXTINGUISHER WITH THE NOZZLE POINTING AWAY FROM YOU AND RELEASE THE LOCKING MECHANISM.
A-AIM LOW. POINT THE EXTINGUISHER AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE.
S-QUEEZE THE LEVER SLOWLY AND EVENLY.
S-WEEP THE NOZZLE FROM SIDE TO SIDE.