Fire extinguishers are important tools to keep at home or in any establishments because it prevents fire outbreaks. Because of this, it is a must to maintain fire extinguishers in a good state to ensure its effectiveness when the need arises. To keep it so, maintenance activities must be performed on the fire extinguishers on scheduled times such as after transit of the tool, once on a monthly basis and another annual inspection.
When doing the fire extinguisher testing, it would be best to follow the guidelines stated by fire safety regulations to be sure that you have inspected the tool well, leaving no part unchecked. Monthly inspection may be done by a designated personnel and no special training is needed for this. The first to check is the location where the fire extinguishers are situated. It must be an area that is visible, unobstructed and accessible to users. Placing it in an obscured area forfeits its purpose during an emergency. Apart from its location, one should also examine the physical appearance of the extinguisher. The parts to inspect are locking pin, gauge, tamper seal, physical body, and the nozzle. As with the locking pin and tamper seal, it must be unbroken and intact.
There should also be no physical damages to any part of the extinguisher such as corrosions and heavy denting. The patency of the nozzle should also be inspected ensuring it is not clogged. Fire extinguishers also come with gauge or indicator and the inspector should also see to it that it is in the operable range. There should also be a visible operating guide placed in the outward part of the extinguisher. Aside from the physical state of the extinguisher, one should also check the service tag date. Remember that apart from the monthly maintenance by a designated personnel, fire extinguishers should also be checked annually by a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance contractor as this is required by most states. After a thorough inspection, the person who performed the inspection must label it with his initials and the date and time the inspection occurred.
A lot of people also think that fire extinguisher lives forever but it is a wrong notion. Some fire extinguishers last for five years while others are good for 15 years. The expiration date of the tool should be indicated on the label. While it can last for a number of years, it should still be inspected on a regular basis. But some people and establishment owners often fail to follow strictly the schedule of fire extinguisher maintenance. Others even skip it just to save money from hiring a fire extinguisher inspector. But one should know that while you may save a few hundred bucks from hiring an inspector, but its effect can cause you way more when a fire erupts and fire extinguishers don’t work due to lack of maintenance servicing.
If the cost of fire extinguisher testing is what worries you, there are fire extinguisher service centers that offer affordable charges. You can also sign in for a regular maintenance package as it will lower the cost even more. Spending a sum of money for safety is never a wasted effort because as always, safety should be prioritized at all times in order to avoid injuries, loss of property and foremost loss of life.