A confluence of circumstances and brought this topic to the top of mind today and I wanted to share a few things. I have seen a number of news stories in the last couple of days related to mulch fires, grills catching grass and dried brush on fire, and the burn bans in effect throughout the midwest with this summer’s dry, drought like conditions. I am also taking my fire extinguisher certification test tomorrow. That said, I thought I would share some basic facts when checking your own fire extinguishers for readiness, should you need them during this season, or any other time.
I know prior to working with Brickyard Fire Protection, my own experience with fire extinguishers was that the commercial ones hung on the wall and somebody came and inspected them once a year, and they were an after thought. In my house, it was even more of an after thought. As a matter of fact, most of the time, it was something that just got in the way, when I needed something else under the sink or in the pantry. Now, I can’t walk into a building without noticing where the fire extinguishers are, and I am drawn to look at the tag to see when it was last inspected. Perspective, baby!
There is absolutely no substitute for the professional inspection and maintenance of a fire extinguisher that in commercial settings is required to be done annually. But on a monthly basis, the fire extinguishers in your home or business should be inspected by someone to make sure that they continue to be in working condition. When conducting a self inspection of your fire extinguisher, use the following checklist (as explained in the NFPA 10 Annex F.6.2.2):
- The equipment is in its designated place, and its operating instructions face outward.
- Access to the fire extinguisher is not obstructed.
- Operating instructions are legible.
- Any seals or tamper indicators are not broken, missing, or in need of replacement.
- Pressure gauge or indicating devices are in the operable range or position.
- There is no evidence of corrosion or physical damage.
Should you find any anomaly during your self inspection, contact a certified fire extinguisher service company to have the unit serviced or replaced.
You can find more information about fire extinguisher service, inspections, and other safety protection services by utilizing our online resources below.