Inspect fire extinguishers at least
once a month (more often in severe environments)
Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for everyone’s
You must ensure that:
- The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere
with access in an emergency.
- The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with
a gauge (such as that shown on the right), the needle should be in the
green zone - not too high and not too low.
- The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
- There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and/or other signs of abuse/wear.
Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.
Some manufacturers recommend shaking
your dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling/packing.
Fire extinguishers should be pressure
tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult
your owner's manual, extinguisher label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing.
If the extinguisher is damaged
or needs recharging, replace it immediately!
all extinguishers immediately after use regardless of how much they were used.
What is the difference between
a fire extinguisher inspection and fire extinguisher maintenance?
An inspection is a “quick
check” to give reasonable assurance that a fire extinguisher is available, fully charged and operable. The value of
an inspection lies in the frequency, regularity, and thoroughness with which it is conducted. The frequency will vary from
hourly to monthly, based on the needs of the situation. Inspections should always be conducted when extinguishers are initially
placed in service and thereafter at approximately 30-day intervals.
Fire extinguishers should
be maintained at regular intervals (at least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an inspection. Maintenance is
a “thorough check” of the extinguisher. It is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will operate
effectively and safely. It includes a thorough examination and any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. It will normally
reveal the need for hydrostatic testing of an extinguisher.