It may seem so obvious it doesn’t need stating, but fire extinguishers are important. They are the first line of defence when putting out or containing small fires which could lead to more serious damage or injury.
As such, keeping them maintained using a reliable checklist is imperative for having a fully functioning fire extinguisher.
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Checklist
Fire extinguishers put out more small blazes than the fire and service department in workplace environments, hence the importance of regular fire alarm maintenance and fire drills in the workplace – no matter how much those weekly fire alarm tests make you jump.
So for everything you need to know about fire extinguishers and meeting important requirements, Fire Action can provide expert advice. For our fire extinguisher checklist, see below.
What is included in a Fire Extinguisher maintenance checklist?
If you own or manage premises, regular fire extinguisher maintenance is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2006 – meaning that once a month, or once a week in environments they might be discharged or damaged more readily, your fire extinguishers should be inspected to the following criteria:
Fire Extinguisher Visual Inspection
Here are the essential steps for how to inspect a fire extinguisher:
- Visibility – Check each extinguisher is in its correct place, and is unobstructed and visible.
- Legible instructions – Confirm the operating instructions are legible, clean and facing outwards.
- Locking pin – Verify the locking pin is intact, and the tamper indicators and seals are unbroken.
- Full – Ensure the extinguisher is still full and hasn’t been operated.
- Pressure rating – Read the pressure rating on the gauge or indicator, and ensure it is within the safety limits.
A licensed contractor must service your equipment every 12 months, so check your fire extinguisher inspection log sheet or report to make sure this has been done.
Type of Damage
If your fire extinguisher is damaged, its ability to put out a fire could be affected when you need it most. Types of fire extinguisher damage to look out for include:
- Dents, rusting, scratches or gouges on the cylinder
- Excessive dirt
- Corrosion and leakage
- Clogged nozzle or wand
- Frayed or split hose
- Cracked or otherwise damaged horn (for CO2 extinguishers only)
As pressurised containers, damage from being dropped can affect the efficacy of your extinguisher too – the best way to check this is the pressure gauge and safety pin, ensuring your equipment is ready to go should the need arise.
Fire Extinguisher Servicing
A fire triangle refers to the three elements that fires need in order to ignite; heat, fuel and oxygen. If one of these elements is removed, the fire goes out, and that is where fire extinguishers come in. To ensure your equipment works seamlessly, all water, powder and CO2 extinguishers should all be serviced once a year, and water and powder extinguishers should have an extended service every 5 years.
Current legislation requires that only a competent person who is properly trained in the maintenance of fire extinguishers can be responsible for servicing your equipment. As such, the majority of fire extinguisher servicing in the UK is done by professional fire safety companies.
Fire Action are the South East’s leading fire safety and security providers. With over 15 years experience, our team of experts ensure you receive the highest standards of professional service. If you have any questions, or would like to arrange a service for your extinguishers, please get in touch with our friendly team today.