Fire extinguishers are not often used, which makes them sit for longer periods of time. However, when fire strikes, the last thing you want is to find out that your fire extinguisher is not properly working. This is a critical and important tool for any home or commercial centre and must be well inspected to ensure that it is intact and ready to deploy. The check process is explained to you as part of the safety measures to keep your home safe from fire damages.
Initial Inspection Steps
All fire extinguishers come with a useful manual that has important information regarding regular checks and proper maintenance. Ensure that you have read and understood all the instructions thoroughly. Several directions may be consistent throughout the inspection process regardless of the type of extinguisher you might be dealing with.
You have to confirm that your fire extinguisher is not obstructed by any piece of object that may make it difficult to access in case of a fire. Examine the equipment for any leaks, dents, and other signs of damage such as corrosion. Wipe and dust off any chemical deposits on the surface of the extinguisher such as grease and oil, including dust particles accumulated on the gauge, valve, and nozzle. Additionally, confirm if the safety seals and pin are intact, and the nozzle is free from any obstruction.
Fire extinguishers loose pressure overtime. Therefore, it is very important to inspect the gauge needle depending on your model. If the gauge points to the red sector, it is a clear alarm that your extinguisher should be re-pressurised, if not possible replaced.
Disposable and Rechargeable Fire Extinguishers
Depending on whether you have a disposable or rechargeable fire extinguisher, you may have to either replace or refill it after use. Make sure to recharge after every use when dealing with rechargeable fire extinguishers. For disposable fire extinguishers, you will have to replace them after each use. When dealing with small and portable extinguishers, it is advisable to regularly shake the containers and turn them upside down to prevent the powder inside from caking.
The usual monthly inspections only confirm if the equipment is well charged, accessible, and is in service. However, a more thorough inspection procedure should be done annually by a professional. The equipment should be assessed if there is need to be repaired, whether it is safe and operable, and if it should be subjected to a hydraulic test.