You'll hopefully never have to use a fire extinguisher in your building, but you never know when you'll need one. That's why it's important to make sure all the fire extinguishers are operational and ready to grab if a fire breaks out. Your business will need to comply with local fire regulations and that probably include monthly inspections of all the extinguishers on your property. You will need to keep written records of inspections and service of your extinguishers too. Here's a look at the inspections that are required.
Monthly Inspections Are Quick Checks
You may want to have your fire extinguishers maintained by an outside company. A fire extinguisher professional will need to attend to any problems that develop and perform service on the extinguishers, so you may want them to perform the inspections as well. Whether they do it or if your maintenance staff does it, it's important to perform the inspections monthly and keep a written record of the event. Fire extinguishers usually have tags on them for this purpose. If your building is inspected by the fire marshal, the tags will be checked to make sure you've been keeping up with inspections.
A monthly inspection is fairly simple. It makes sure the extinguisher is where it should be and that it is mounted with the instructions facing out. The pin and seal are checked to make sure the extinguisher has not been used. The gauge is checked for pressure in the proper range and the extinguisher is lifted to make sure it isn't empty. The inspection tag and expiration date are noted. If it has been over a year since the extinguisher had a comprehensive check by a professional, then the extinguisher should be serviced right away.
The extinguisher itself is checked as well for signs of rust or dents. If everything looks okay, the inspection tag is marked with the date, and the extinguisher is good for another month. If a problem is found, the extinguisher should be switched out with a new one until the problem is fixed.
More Comprehensive Inspections Are Required Annually
Even though you inspect your extinguishers monthly, you still need to have them undergo a more thorough inspection once each year. The extinguisher is pressure tested and weighed at this time. The pin is pulled and resealed. The body of the extinguisher is checked for signs of wear. If the extinguisher passes the inspection, a new tag is put on and the monthly inspections resumed.
Full Service Is Required At Set Intervals
Different types of fire extinguishers need a complete overhaul on different intervals. It might be every 5-12 years. During this inspection, the extinguisher is emptied so it can be examined more closely. This involves looking at all parts as well as the inside of the canister. If no problems are found, the extinguisher is refilled and put back into service. Some extinguishers may be retired at the end of their time rather than serviced.
Keeping up with fire extinguisher maintenance is a big chore when you have many extinguishers in your building, but the work can be coordinated and completed without disruption by a service company. Having fire extinguishers you can count on keeps your employees safer and protects your inventory, and it can also save you from fines due to fire code violations. Contact a service, like Tri County Fire Protection, for more help.