If you manage or occupy a multifamily building, commercial building, school, or industrial building, fire extinguishers will likely be found throughout your building. While occupants should always follow “safety first,” extinguishers can help put out small fires before they spread. Regularly testing and inspecting fire extinguishers ensures they stay functional for when they’re needed most and keeps your building and occupants safe.
Fire extinguishers should undergo a visual inspection but building personnel or a certified fire protection company. This inspection includes looking for obvious signs of damage, tampering, that it’s in its proper location, and confirming that the pressure gauge is in the green or acceptable range.
Fire Extinguisher Annual Inspections
A more thorough inspection by a professional fire protection company is typically required annually. During this inspection, the technician will check for corrosion, damage, or other issues with the extinguisher. They may also weigh the extinguisher to ensure it hasn’t lost any of its suppressant agent. They’ll also verify the safety pins are in place and tamper seals aren’t broken, and that the pressure gauge is operating properly. If the fire extinguisher isn’t working properly, an internal examination and testing may be required.
Stored pressure fire extinguishers must be serviced and recharged by a certified technician every six years. This helps ensure that the pressure intervals are functional and the extinguisher will be ready for use if needed! During a 6-year service , a technician will:
- Visually inspect the extinguisher and its ID
- Test for leaks
- Replace discharge, valve stem, and O rings to prevent future leaks
- Refill dry chemical and nitrogen to the manufacturer’s recommended weight
- Outfit the extinguisher with a 6-year compliance sticker and annual inspection tag
12-Year Hydrostatic Testing
Fire extinguishers are required to go through hydrostatic testing every 12 years by a certified technician to ensure it stays in a safe and working condition. These tests require special equipment with high pressure! During this test, a technician will:
- Discharge the fire extinguisher to prepare for hydrostatic testing
- Connect the extinguisher to a hydrostatic testing machine and lower it into a water test jacket cylinder to be pressurized
- Pressurize the extinguisher using a water expansion method
- Perform extinguisher pressure testing to make sure it can hold the manufacturer’s specified pressure for at least 30 seconds
- Drain the liquid and dry the extinguisher using a heated air dryer
- Refill the extinguisher
- Place a hydrostatic test sticker or a metal stamp directly on the fire extinguisher
- Test for leaks
- Place an annual inspection tag on the extinguisher
At Integrity Fire, we’re your partner in fire protection and take the time to get to know your building and fire extinguishers. Our main focus is safety and keeping you informed along the way. Reach out today and discover the care and expertise we give to each property to get to know the building and ensure you’re ready for anything. Because It Matters.