Fire extinguisher inspection should be done monthly by a professional fire safety officer. Such an officer knows what to look for during the inspection, understands common fire extinguisher issues, and responds suitably. When done right, the inspection ensures that your fire extinguisher is reliable and effective during an emergency. Here are the four main procedures carried out during fire extinguisher inspection.
1. Confirm Its Accessibility
During the inspection, fire extinguisher services confirm that the premises have a fire extinguisher. If you have a portable extinguisher, it should be secured using a wooden or glass cabinet to prevent unnecessary moving. The area should be unobstructed by other equipment to make it easy for the user to access it in case of an emergency.
2. Check the Manufacturer's Label and Tag
Whether you use a portable or rechargeable fire extinguisher on your premises, it needs to have a manufacturer label. The label contains instructions for use as well as the expiration date. It's advisable to check and read these instructions carefully to help you use the equipment appropriately.
3. Examine the Physical State of the Extinguisher
Besides being present, the manufacturer's label should be readable. The inspector also looks for physical defects such as:
- Cracks on the hose or nozzle leakage
- Dents, corrosion, or any other form of damage on the cylinder
- Loose connection between the hose and the cylinder
- Broken or cracked tamper seal
- Missing or misplaced pull pin
The presence of any of the above defects is an indication that the fire extinguisher may not work properly when you need it the most. You should, therefore, replace it as soon as possible. Alternatively, you should regularly check and clean the nozzle to remove dirt and bugs that can clog the fire extinguisher.
4. Confirm the Extinguisher's Capacity
You need to confirm the pressure gauge of your extinguisher by checking the needle level. If the needle is within the green zone, then there's no need to worry. If it's below the green level, then it's an indication that it won't work properly when need be. A needle below the green level indicates an overcharged fire extinguisher, in which case you need to reservice.
Fire extinguisher inspection is crucial and should be done regularly. If you feel that the task is too complicated for you to handle, consider professional fire extinguisher services. Professional fire extinguisher services not only know what defects to check, but they also know how to rectify them.