Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Checklist

December 1, 2017 Roy Williams

It is crucial to ensure that your fire extinguisher is in proper working order at all times. Conducting annual fire extinguisher maintenance is the best way to make sure that everything will function the way it is designed in the event of an emergency. The following are annual fire extinguisher maintenance steps that should be performed on both commercial and residential fire extinguishers.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Ensure Clear Access

Access to the fire extinguisher should not be blocked by personal possessions, equipment, or locked doors. Further, fire extinguishers need to be stored in a designated location that is easily visible within the room or corridor.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Check Pressure

The fire extinguisher pressure should be within the recommended range. The needle within the gauge should be squarely within the green zone. The pressure should be recorded and monitored for comparison and future reference as it will help determine whether a leak is present or if a portion of the internal agent has been discharged.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Ensure the Nozzle is Clear

The nozzle of the fire extinguisher should be clear of debris and undamaged. The nozzle should be swabbed both internally and externally to remove any grease, oil, or dust that is present.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Inspect the Pin & Tamper Seals

The pin should be firmly in place and free of rust. Further, the tamper seal should be complete and intact.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Inspect the Casing

The casing of the fire extinguisher should be free of dents, rust, and chemical deposits. It is also important to ensure that any chemical agents are wiped clean as oil, grease, and other corrosive contaminants can cause the casing to rust.

Shake up the Chemical Agent

Some dry chemical fire extinguishers require manual shaking on a monthly basis to prevent the settling or packing of the chemical agents.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Should Include Pressure Testing

Hydrostatic testing should be conducted periodically to ensure that the casing is maintaining the proper pressure. Slow leaks can quickly reduce the effectiveness of the device. Pressurized water, CO2, and wet chem extinguishers need to be pressure tested every five years, while dry chem extinguishers need to be pressure tested every 12 years. High-pressure carbon dioxide systems need to be marked with the tester’s ID number as well as the month and year the test was conducted. Low-pressure systems including dry chem, wet chem, and water must have this information recorded and affixed on a metal label that includes the initials of the tester and the type of pressure test that was conducted.

Recharging Fire Extinguishers

When the pressure is insufficient, it is crucial to recharge the system and apply a verification of service collar that indicates the date the service was conducted and the information of the company performing the service.

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