How Long has it Been Since You’ve Fire Extinguisher Maintenance?
Fire extinguishers are the primary fire prevention system. Their chemical formula is essential to fight the fire. Its composition makes it necessary to undergo a fire extinguisher maintenance check to evaluate its effectiveness periodically. That they are in good condition depends on the company that has the fire extinguishers, responsible for your premises’ safety.
Once a Month
Fire extinguisher manufacturers recommend shaking the extinguisher once a month. This prevents the powder inside from packing or settling. You should remove the extinguisher from the storage location and shake it up and down for at least two minutes. It is also necessary to perform an inspection of your fire extinguisher once a month to ensure that the unit is available, operable, and fully charged.
It is essential to check the excellent accessibility, the apparent good state of conservation, the locks, the security seals, the inscriptions, the hose, etc. Check the condition of charge of the fire extinguisher (weight and pressure) and the gas cylinder (if any), the state of all mechanical parts (nozzle, valves, hose, etc.).
The state of charge of the fire extinguisher (weight, pressure) and, in the case of powder extinguishers with impulse bottle, the form of the extinguishing agent is checked. The extinguishing agent’s force, the hose’s condition, the nozzle, the valves, and all mechanical parts are also limited. If you need to recharge a fire extinguisher, you should take into account the following:
The fire extinguisher must not be more than 20 years old, in which case the fire extinguisher cannot be recharged. If the fire extinguisher has been used for more than five years since the date of manufacture or since it’s last labeled, and it is less than 20 years old, it can be recharged, but not before having made a pressure test to the equipment. Therefore, the extinguisher cannot be recharged without first completing this pressure test.
If the extinguisher is less than 20 years old, no more than five years have passed since the date of manufacture, or since the last re-stamping test, the equipment can be recharged.
All fire extinguishers in poor condition or meet the criteria for rejection of fire extinguishers can not be manipulated or recharged.
From the date of stamping the extinguisher, hydraulic test (and for three times maximum) the extinguisher will be re-stamped. The useful life of any fire extinguisher is 20 years.
Any powder extinguisher that has been used, even minimally, should be recharged. For this, you will have to go to an authorized company of fire extinguishers. The recharging process is straightforward; you need to do the following:
- Check the industry plate to know if it is possible to recharge the equipment.
- Identify the type of powder extinguishing agent in the kit.
- Disassemble the extinguisher, clean the valve and mechanical parts
- Empty the fire extinguisher with a hopper.
- Weigh the empty fire extinguisher on a calibrated scale
- Proceed to recharge the extinguisher up to the kg of extinguishing agent indicated on the package.
- Close the equipment and proceed with the nitrogen charge.
And you, have you already checked your fire extinguisher? Don’t forget that fire extinguisher maintenance can save your life.