Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspections
Why inspect your fire extinguishers?
Fire extinguishers are your first line of defense in the case of a fire. An extinguisher in every room prevents a small problem from rapidly growing into a catastrophe. Just as a functional fire extinguisher can potentially save lives and vast amounts of property, a malfunctioning one can potentially be disastrous.
Any building operator wants to make sure their first line of defense against fire is in working order. Fire extinguishers that are at risk of functioning incorrectly may not always show it: they may be past their best-by dates, a stray bump or drop may have damaged some interior components, a subtle leak may have depressurized the flame retardant inside, among several other possibilities. This is in addition to extinguishers with visible damage — a large dent, missing handle or the like may make the difference between operability and inoperability.
Annual fire extinguisher inspections may make the difference. We at Complete Fire Protection can run comprehensive reviews of your fire extinguisher setup and point out any flaws that may render your setup incomplete or insufficient. Read on for a walkthrough of our review and process.
How We Conduct Our Inspections
We walk through a multi-point fire extinguisher inspection on a room-by-room and extinguisher-by-extinguisher basis. For passing remarks, we require that each of these stipulations are met by each extinguisher present on your grounds.
Location in designated place
The placement of fire extinguishers is one of the most important factors in their effectiveness. We will ensure fire extinguishers are placed strategically throughout your structure, in places that are easily spotted and accessible.
Proper placement for hazards
Fire extinguishers should be placed wherever a major fire hazard exists. These may manifest in the form of flammable chemicals like oils and gasoline, hot surfaces like cooktops, places where open flames are present, in rooms with an abundance of electrical wiring, among other places. If we find that a room/area in your building is in need of a fire extinguisher, we will instruct where in the room would be most effective for its storage.
Free of obstructions
There should be a straight, unobstructed line of sight and path from anywhere in the room to the fire extinguisher. Large objects should not be situated in front of any extinguisher, and it may not be situated in a place where it would be unreachable by some e.g. very high up or within a closet.
Pressure gauge in operable range
During a fire extinguisher inspection, its contents need to be under pressure in order to be expelled properly in the case of a fire. Extinguishers with low pressure are inadequate for putting out fires.
Sufficient fire retardant/chemical is present inside
Fire extinguishers are required to have a certain amount of fire-extinguishing material inside them at any given time. Those that don’t are not considered adequate for proper fire protection.
Verify that operating instructions on the nameplate are legible and face outward
The visual instructions on the side of any fire extinguisher should always be facing toward the room, visible from the outside of the extinguisher’s box. The instruction label must also be clear and legible, without damage or fading.
Check for broken or missing safety seals and tamper indicators
Any sign of tampering is a sign that a fire extinguisher may be invalid. Extinguishers should have their indicators and safety seals intact before use.
Examination of physical condition
We will check that your extinguishers are in good physical shape, free of dents, fractures, etc. to ensure proper function in the case of fire.
Replace inspection tags
Last in a fire extinguisher inspection, we update the inspection tags to reflect their new date of last inspection.