Requirements For Placement, Use, Maintenance And Testing Of Portable Fire Extinguishers – Part 6

Roy Williams

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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Since 1925, we have protected businesses throughout the area from the harms and hazards of fires. Every Jay L Harman technician is licensed and regulated by the Texas Department of Insurance State Fire Marshal’s Office.  Each of these technicians continually receives the most up-to-date factory training and certifications by our manufacturers. Contact Jay L Harman Fire Equipment today. Let our friendly and knowledgeable staff tell you more about our fire suppression systems and help you find the ideal fire suppression system for your needs. Learn more about our full offering of fire extinguisher training, firefighting services, firefighting products, request a quote, ask a question or request additional information.