How Often Should You Take a Fire Extinguisher to a Certified Inspector?

October 30 2015

fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are an important feature for any business or home. They are there to put out any fires ranging from paper to gasoline to cooking oils. That’s why it’s necessary to have them inspected once in a while. Extinguishers that aren’t up to snuff won’t protect anyone! A fire extinguisher inspection is necessary to identify any safety issues and ensure your equipment will operate as needed in case of fire.

What kinds of fire extinguishers exist?

• Dry Chemical: These are the most common in businesses, hospitals, and homes. But they are also very corrosive so make sure you scrub after using if possible!
• Carbon Dioxide: Though a liquid in the canister, it will expel as a gas for a more eco-friendly option.
• Water: Both cheap and safe for the environment!
• Wet Chemical: These extinguishers use potassium acetate and are usually found in commercial kitchens around those dangerous fryers.

How often should my fire extinguisher be checked?

• The NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) says you should visually check your extinguisher every month. Just take a look at the pressure gauge, any damages, and fullness of the can.
• A thorough examination by a professional inspector is required every year. He/She will check your extinguisher inside and out to make sure it’s properly functioning.
• For stored pressure extinguishers (e.g. Dry Chemical), the cans need to be emptied every 6 years with proper maintenance by a professional.
• A hydrostatic test (pressure strength) is mandatory every 5 years for pressurized water, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical extinguishers.
• For dry chemical extinguishers, the hydrostatic test is required every 12 years.
Inspecting your fire extinguisher at the required times by a certified professional is a key requirement for safety management. Don’t worry, most inspection agencies will give you a heads up when it’s that time of year again so you don’t have to keep track.

Contact us at OnSite Solutions for more information on your fire extinguisher inspection.