The requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 apply to the placement, use, maintenance, and testing of portable fire extinguishers provided for the use of employees. Where extinguishers are provided but are not intended for employee use and the employer has both an emergency action plan and a fire prevention plan that meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.38 and 29 CFR 1910.39 respectively, then only the requirements of paragraphs 1910.157(e) and 1910.157(f) apply.
This 7 part series of articles will provide a summary of each section of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 to allow the reader with a good understanding of the requirements as they apply to portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157 consists of 6 major section:
- 1910.157(b) – Exemptions
- 1910.157(c) – General Requirements
- 1910.157(d) – Selection and Distribution
- 1910.157(e) – Inspection, Maintenance and Testing
- 1910.157(f) – Hydrostatic Testing
- 1910.157(g) – Training and Education
Part 1 in this series addressed Exemptions to the requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 2 in this series addressed General Requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 3 in this series addressed Selection and Distribution requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 4 in the series addressed Inspection, Maintenance and Testing requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 5 in the series addressed Hydrostatic Testing requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157. Part 6 in the series will address Type of Extinguishers and Hydrostatic Test Interval requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157.
Type of Extinguishers and Hydrostatic Test Interval requirements of Occupational Safety and Health Standard 1910.157
Soda acid (stainless steel shell) – 5 years
Cartridge operated water and/or antifreeze – 5 years
Stored pressure water and/or antifreeze – 5 years
Wetting agent – 5 years
Foam (stainless steel shell) – 5 years
Aqueous Film Forming foam (AFFF) – 5 years
Loaded stream – 5 years
Dry chemical with stainless steel – 5 years
Carbon Dioxide – 5 years
Dry chemical, stored pressure, with mild steel, brazed brass or aluminum shells – 12 years
Dry chemical, cartridge or cylinder operated, with mild steel shells – 12 years
Halon 1211 – 12 years
Halon 1301 – 12 years
Dry powder, cartridge or cylinder operated with mild steel shells – 12 years
Employers shall assure that hydrostatic testing is performed by trained persons with suitable testing equipment and facilities. Employers shall assure that portable extinguishers are hydrostatically tested at the intervals listed in this section, except under any of the following conditions:
- When the unit has been repaired by soldering, welding, brazing, or use of patching compounds;
- When the cylinder or shell threads are damaged;
- When there is corrosion that has caused pitting, including corrosion under removable name plate assemblies;
- When the extinguisher has been burned in a fire; or
- When a calcium chloride extinguishing agent has been used in a stainless steel shell.
In addition to an external visual examination, employers shall assure that an internal examination of cylinders and shells to be tested is made prior to the hydrostatic tests.
Employers shall maintain and provide upon request evidence that the required hydrostatic testing of fire extinguishers has been performed at the time intervals listed in this section. Such evidence shall be in the form of a certification record which includes the date of the test, the signature of the person who performed the test and the serial number, or other identifier, of the fire extinguisher that was tested. Such records shall be kept until the extinguisher is hydrostatically retested at the time interval specified in this section or until the extinguisher is taken out of service, whichever comes first.
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