Fire extinguishers may be easy to forget in comparison to the other components of your fire protection system, but they play a vital role in first aid fire fighting. They can mean the difference between a small localized flame that can be quickly put out or a raging fire that may put life and property at risk. But there is a hidden threat — lack of maintenance can cause a failure to operate.
Why Maintenance is a Must
A regular fire extinguisher service and maintenance check can catch problems before they pose a risk to you and your property. Some of the reasons a unit can become inoperative include:
- Hose blockage – The functionality of the unit can be impaired by debris that gets stuck inside the hose.
- Leaks – Leaks will cause the pressure of a unit to go down, rendering it useless.
- Not recharged – A fire extinguisher that has been used, even a little bit, will need to undergo recharging to make it ready for use in case fire breaks out again.
- Hidden damage – A fire extinguisher can sustain damage that may not be seen through a simple visual inspection. Often, this is caused by corrosion that takes place inside the tank, and this can only be detected through a professional maintenance check.
- Worn Label – The label contains important instructions for the usage of the fire extinguisher unit so that anyone can easily operate it, even those who have not used one before. The label also has information that is needed by service technicians.
How Often is Maintenance Needed?
There are three different types of checks that you need to do for your fire safety equipment, and these three vary in requirements and intervals.
- Monthly – The monthly check is mostly visual and does not involve complicated testing. This is achieved by carefully looking if the said equipment is in its proper position, if it is in good condition, if there are no obstructions to its access, and if the gauge indicates that there is enough pressure in the canister.
- Annually – A full maintenance check must be performed yearly, but this step should be done by a professional fire protection company like RAEL, which is equipped with all the tools needed to ensure total compliance with OSHA and fire safety laws.
- Every 5, 6, or 12 Years – Like the annual inspection, these inspections also require the services of a fire protection company. The maintenance involves a complete internal examination and recharging of the units to make sure that everything is working correctly.
The time intervals vary depending on the type of unit to be tested. Typically, dry chemical fire safety units need to be checked thoroughly every 6 years and undergo a hydrostatic test every 12. Carbon dioxide, wet chemical, and pressurized water extinguishers need to be hydrostatically tested every 5.
Prevent the failure of your fire extinguishers and save lives.
To stop a catastrophic failure from happening, work with Rael Fire Protection. Our fully-trained professionals will make sure that your extinguishers are up to code and functioning when you need them the most. Call us today at 516-593-2000 or drop us a message to know more.