OSHA regulations stipulate that commercial businesses must inspect their portable fire extinguishers monthly. Homeowners should make time to do this as well because fire extinguishers will only put out a fire if they’re in proper working order. Follow this guide on how to perform a monthly fire extinguisher inspection so you know what to check and how to make sure your extinguishers are not damaged or inoperable.
What and How to Check
All portable fire extinguishers should be unobstructed, easy to see, and easy to reach. If it cannot be easily seen or reached, any obstructions should be moved or the extinguisher itself should be relocated where it is accessible.
The needle of the pressure gauge should be pointing to the green indicator, known as the operating zone. If the needle is to the left of the operating zone, the extinguisher has lost pressure and needs to be recharged by a professional. If the needle is to the right of the operating zone, it is under too much pressure and is at risk of a leak or a cylinder failure. Call your fire protection contractor right away if the pressure gauge is outside of the operating zone for service by a professional.
Check the inspection tag so you know when the last annual inspection took place and when the next one is due. If there is no inspection tag the extinguisher should be inspected to avoid any issues. The contractor will attach an updated inspection tag.
Lastly, the extinguisher needs to be checked thoroughly for damage or deterioration. Check the label to make sure it’s still present and legible, and that the serial number can still be read. Keep an eye out for dents and punctures, as well as rust and corrosion. The hose should still be securely fastened to the extinguisher and free of cracks or other damage. Also, the locking pin should be present and fastened correctly and securely. The extinguisher must also have a tamper seal. This will indicate if anyone has attempted to use or discharge the unit. If any extinguishers are damaged or tampered with, have them professionally inspected immediately.
Record Your Findings
Make sure you know how to properly record the findings of your inspection. Write your name or initials, signature, and date of inspection to confirm that it has been done. After you’ve signed off, write a report that describes any issues and the steps required to remedy them. Your report should include your name, date, and location of the extinguisher that needs service.
Fire Protection Services from Fireline
Whether you need smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, or an automatic sprinkler system installed at your commercial property, Fireline has you covered. We have been protecting people and property from fire damage since 1947—and our experience shows in our excellent work! We are known for our superb customer service, our expertise, and our reliability. For more information on how we can help your residential or commercial property, visit us online or give us a call at (800) 553-3405. We are in Baltimore, MD, with a second office in Leesburg, VA. For more fire safety tips, be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.