How to Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher for Optimal Performance

August 15, 2023

Fire extinguishers are a vital part of any business or home. They can help prevent a small fire before it becomes a disaster.

However, like any other equipment, they must be maintained to perform at their best.

This blog post will discuss the proper way to keep your fire extinguisher, so you know it will be there for you when you need it!

How do I maintain my fire extinguisher?

It is essential to maintain your fire extinguisher for fire safety. There are many different fire extinguishers, but they must be held correctly to work properly.

Clean your fire extinguishers

Clean your fire extinguishers
Source: Wikihow

It is essential to clean your fire extinguisher regularly.

  • You can do this by using a damp cloth and wiping down the exterior.
  • Once you have done this, you will need to check the pressure gauge to ensure it is in the green zone.
  • If it is not, you will need to contact a professional for assistance.
  • Finally, you will need to check the expiration date and ensure it is still valid.
  • If not, you will need to purchase a new fire extinguisher.

By following these simple steps, you can ensure that your fire extinguisher is in good working condition and will be ready to use in an emergency.

Monthly inspections for damage or leaks

Doing a monthly fire extinguisher inspection is also essential by checking for any damage or leaks that may have occurred. There are three main ways to do this:

rusty fire extinguishers

Check the gauge

If the needle is in the green zone, the extinguisher is complete and ready to use. If the hand is in the red area, the fire extinguisher is empty and needs to be refilled.

fire extinguishers gauge

Check the weight

weighting machine

A complete extinguisher should weigh about 18 pounds. If it feels lighter than that, then it might leak.

Check the hose

If the hose is damaged, the extinguisher will not work correctly. You should also make sure that there are no kinks in the hose.

If you find any damage or leaks in your fire extinguisher, you should take it to a professional to have it repaired or replaced.

Make sure the nozzle is clean and free of obstructions

Clean nozzle of your fire extinguishers

You can do this by visually inspecting the nozzle, or if you have an air compressor, you can use compressed air to blow out any debris that may be blocking the nozzle.

If the nozzle is blocked, you should contact a professional to have it cleaned or replaced.

Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing)

This is done to ensure that the fire extinguishers can withstand the high pressures typically experienced during a fire.

Hydrostatic testing is also used to check for leaks in the extinguisher’s tank. If a leak is found, it can be repaired before the extinguisher is put into service.

If you have fire extinguishers in your home or business, it’s essential to know when it was last hydrostatically tested.

You can usually find this information on the label of the extinguisher. If you’re unsure, contact a certified technician for more details.

Check the extinguisher’s label or a paper tag for the expiration or last maintenance date.

  • To check the extinguisher label, look for expiration or last maintenance date.
  • To check a paper tag, look for a date that’s stamped or printed on it. If the title is blank, the extinguisher may be expired.

If you can’t find one, contact the manufacturer or a certified fire extinguisher dealer for more information.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

It’s essential to do basic maintenance on your fire extinguishers every year. You should check the pressure gauge to ensure it’s in the green; if not, you should get it serviced.

You should replace it if it is more than 10 years old.

You should also check that the tamper seal is intact and that the nozzle is clear. Lastly, ensure the fire extinguisher is easily accessible and not obstructed by anything.

By doing some simple maintenance every year, you can ensure that your fire extinguisher will work when you need it most.

Replace the extinguisher if it’s been used or is more than ten years old

If you have an extinguisher that is more than ten years old or has been used, it must be replaced.

You can check the date of manufacture on the label. If it’s been longer than ten years, replace it. The same goes for any extinguisher that has been used – even if it hasn’t reached the ten-year mark.

Having fire extinguishers that will work when you need them is essential, so check the expiration date and replace them if necessary.

If you don’t have one yet, or yours is expired, head to your local hardware store and pick one up. It could save lives.

What to do if my fire extinguisher is expired?

If you have an expired fire extinguisher, the best thing to do is to take it to a local recycling center that accepts hazardous materials. This way, you can be sure that it will be disposed of properly and won’t end up in a landfill.

You can also check with your local fire department to see if they offer a fire extinguisher disposal program. Some departments will take expired extinguishers and dispose of them for you.

If you can’t find a recycling center or fire department that will take your expired extinguisher, you can always contact a professional hazardous waste removal company. They will be able to dispose of it correctly for you.

No matter what you do, don’t just throw your expired fire extinguisher in the trash. It’s not safe, and it’s not good for the environment. With a little bit of effort, you can find a way to recycle or dispose of it properly.

Alex Bradley

Written by

Alex Bradley

Multitasking guru who’s not just wrangling words as a witty blogger, but also juggling the roles of a husband, dad, and dutiful son to an age-defying parent. With a keyboard in one hand and a toolbox of tech gadgets in the other, Alex weaves playful blog posts that crack open the world of senior-friendly gizmos. Drawing inspiration from his family adventures and late-night “Eureka!” moments, his posts are your compass to navigate the realm of safety-enhancing and smile-inducing devices for the golden-aged generation.