Fire Extinguisher Inspections: Are They Required?
February 24, 2023
A fire extinguisher inspection is required by law in many cases. Businesses and other organizations that have portable fire extinguishers on their property must ensure that they are visually inspected monthly to ensure everyone’s safety.
This blog post will discuss when portable fire extinguisher inspections are required and what you need to do to ensure your extinguishers are up to code.
Are Fire Extinguisher Inspections Required at Home?
Do you really need to have your fire extinguisher inspected regularly?
Portable fire extinguishers do not need to be inspected regularly unless your local fire codes require them. However, it is a good idea to check your fire extinguisher monthly to ensure it is always ready to use.
You should also have your fire extinguisher inspected by a professional every few years to ensure it is in good working order.
If you do not have a fire extinguisher in your home, now is the time to get one. In the event of a fire, having a fire extinguisher could mean the difference between life and death.
Is it Required in Your Business?
One question we get a lot is whether or not a fire extinguisher inspection is required in businesses.
The answer to this question depends on a few factors, but generally speaking, the answer is yes.
Local fire codes and regulations typically require fire extinguisher inspection.
In addition, most insurance companies will require that your business have an annual or monthly visual inspection schedule in place in order to maintain coverage.
There are a few exceptions to this general rule. However, if your business is tiny and has no employees, you may not be required to have regular fire extinguisher maintenance inspections.
We still recommend that you do so in order to ensure the safety of your property and possessions.
Fire Extinguisher Inspections and their Importance
It is essential to have your fire extinguisher regularly inspected to ensure it is in good working order.
Portable fire extinguishers are essential safety equipment in any home or business. They should be regularly checked to ensure they are fully charged and ready to use.
Most portable fire extinguishers need to be inspected at least once a year, and some need to be serviced more frequently. If you’re unsure how often your fire extinguisher needs to be checked, consult the manufacturer’s instructions or contact a professional.
How to Do Fire Extinguisher Inspections
After you have determined what types of fire extinguishers you have, it is time to move on to the inspection process.
Visual Fire Extinguisher Inspections
The first step is to inspect the fire extinguisher visually. This means that you should look for any signs of apparent physical damage, corrosion, or leaks. If you find any of these things, it is vital to immediately repair or replace the fire extinguisher.
Annual Inspections and Annual Maintenance Inspections
The next step is to perform an annual inspection. This includes checking the pressure gauge, looking for damage signs, and ensuring the fire extinguisher is charged correctly. Check the expiration date of the fire extinguisher. If it has expired, you will need to replace it.
In addition to the annual inspection, you should perform a monthly fire extinguisher inspection. This is a quick check to ensure the fire extinguisher is still in good condition. Check the pressure gauge and look for physical damage. Contact a professional if you find anything out of the ordinary.
Internal Maintenance Inspections
You should also complete an internal examination of the fire extinguisher during this time. This is done to ensure that there is no build-up of debris or other materials that could potentially clog the nozzle.
Part of this is fire extinguisher cylinders will also need to be hydrostatically tested, which requires the fire extinguisher to be emptied, placed under water, and subjected to pressures exceeding its ratings. If the extinguisher fails this test, it will be destroyed. However, the extinguisher will be reassembled, recharged, and placed back into service if it passes.
Regular fire extinguisher inspections are essential to keeping your home and business safe.
How Often Should Fire Extinguishers be Inspected?
To ensure those fire extinguishers are in proper working condition, it is crucial to inspect them regularly. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher, inspection intervals can vary.
For example, dry chemical and cartridge-operated fire extinguishers should be inspected monthly, while stored pressure fire extinguishers should be reviewed quarterly.
It is also essential to perform a yearly maintenance check on all fire extinguishers. This includes thoroughly examining the extinguisher and a pressure test to ensure that the unit is fully charged.
What Happens if a Fire Extinguisher is not Properly Inspected?
If a fire extinguisher is not properly inspected, it may not work when you need it.
Fire extinguishers must be checked monthly to ensure they are fully charged and ready to use. If an extinguisher is not adequately maintained, it may not work when you need it most.
It is essential to have your fire extinguisher inspected by a professional every year and learn more about proper maintenance or if it needs to be refilled, recharged, or replaced for a new one.
The Consequences of Using an Expired or Malfunctioning Fire Extinguisher
An expired, or malfunctioning fire extinguisher can have disastrous consequences.
Even if you have the right kind of extinguisher, if it’s expired or not working correctly, it may not be able to extinguish the fire. This could allow the fire to spread, putting yourself and others in danger.
It’s essential to regularly check your fire extinguishers to make sure they’re in working order. It would be best if you also familiarize yourself with how to use them so that you’re prepared in the event of a fire.
Please don’t wait until it’s too late to find out that your fire extinguisher isn’t up to the task.