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How to Properly Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher


Taking proper care of your fire extinguisher is crucial if you want your fire extinguisher to last. In addition to scheduling monthly fire extinguisher inspections, there are steps you can take on your own to make sure your fire extinguisher is always working at its best.

Fire Extinguisher Safety Protocol

To ensure that your fire extinguisher never runs into problems, make sure that:

  • The fire extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coat racks or any other objects that would make it difficult to access during an emergency.
  • The fire extinguisher pressure is at the right level. Most fire extinguishers are equipped with a pressure gauge. If the needle is in the green area, it means that the pressure is fine – not too high and not too low.
  • Important parts of your fire extinguisher, including the nozzle and the handle, are not hampered in any way.
  • The pin and tamper seal (if applicable) are intact.
  • The fire extinguisher shows no signs of rust, leaks, chemical deposits or any other signs of wear. If you see signs of corrosive chemicals, oil or other gunk, wipe them off with a towel.
  • Many manufacturers recommend giving dry chemical fire extinguishers a shake about once a month to prevent the powder from settling on the bottom and packing.

Always remember to recharge your fire extinguisher immediately after you use it to douse a fire, regardless of how much you use. You never know when a fire will strike next, so it is important to always be prepared.

Fire Extinguisher Service

When it comes time to have a professional fire protection services company take a look at your fire extinguisher, you have two options: a basic inspection or full maintenance service.

  • Fire extinguisher inspection: During a fire extinguisher inspection, a fire protection systems technician will check that your fire extinguisher is accessible, fully charged and ready to be operated at a moment’s notice. The effectiveness of a fire extinguisher inspection lies in how often it is conducted. Most manufacturers recommend having your fire extinguisher inspected every 30 days.
  • Fire extinguisher maintenance: Fire extinguisher maintenance should be performed at least once a year or more as indicated by a fire extinguisher inspection. Fire extinguisher maintenance involves a much more in depth look at the fire extinguisher and includes any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. If your fire extinguisher needs hydrostatic testing, fire extinguisher maintenance will reveal this.

What happens if a fire extinguisher is not properly maintained?

Having a fire extinguisher that is not properly maintained can be extremely dangerous. Not only is there a chance that the fire extinguisher will not work when you need to douse a flame, but fire extinguishers that are badly damaged or have major dents or leaks have the potential to explode.

If you take proper care of your fire extinguisher, it will be able to protect you in the event of a fire. And if you are looking for a professional fire protection services company in Houston, Texas to perform fire extinguisher testing or maintenance, call Kauffman Co. today!

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