A fire extinguisher is the first line of defence in the event of a fire. As a result, it is critical to keep fire extinguishers in your home or workplace in good working order. Fires can occur at any time and in any location, and having a working fire extinguisher can mean the difference between a major and minor accident. While having extinguishers at your location comes with the cost of checking, servicing, and regular inspection to ensure that they are ready for use when needed. In this blog post, we’ll look at how frequently fire extinguishers should be checked, serviced, and inspected to ensure they’re in good working order.
Fire extinguishers are an essential tool for ensuring workplace fire safety. They are found in homes, offices, schools, and public places, basically anywhere there is a risk of a fire starting.
There are various types of fire extinguishers that are used for various purposes. You could also have one or two additional classes at work. A fire extinguisher in an office is not the same as one in a restaurant kitchen. Whatever fire extinguisher you use, they usually follow the same pattern:
- 5-10 years
Regularly inspecting your fire extinguisher makes sense because it is critical that it works properly when needed. Emergencies are unwelcome, and it is critical that you remain prepared for them.
Keep in mind!
Before we go any further in this blog, it’s important to understand the responsibilities that come with working with fire extinguishers. Using a tool or safety equipment without proper knowledge will always result in the deterioration of the object and will always limit output. For example, a person who does not know how to properly use a fire extinguisher may mishandle it, causing the extinguisher to become faulty with minimal output. As a result, proper fire extinguisher training is always recommended, as it will educate individuals on how to handle extinguishers correctly and make the most of them. It is an employer’s responsibility to provide fire extinguisher inspection to their employees; doing so would allow employees near the fire area to get ahead of the fire and extinguish it before the situation escalates.
Fire extinguisher inspection
The process of fire extinguisher inspection is an important part of keeping your workplace or home safe. Every extinguisher will require inspection and maintenance at some point, and it is your responsibility as an employer or house elder to do so. Even though some extinguishers can only be inspected and maintained by professionals such as engineers on an annual basis, a layperson can inspect and maintain those on a monthly basis. To do so, you must be aware of all the steps and processes involved in conducting an effective inspection. Because everything requires attention and maintenance, you must be aware of the steps and processes involved before beginning the inspection process. You could train yourself or your employees on how to perform fire extinguisher inspections by enrolling in appropriate fire inspection training.
Monthly inspections can usually be performed by any member of the household or workplace, but it is important to have the necessary knowledge. When inspecting the fire extinguisher, make certain that:
- Fire extinguishers are located in the right place and are accessible
- Fire extinguishers are not obstructed or blocked
- Fire extinguishers have not been previously used
- The pressure of the fire extinguisher is correct
- The fire extinguisher is not damaged or faulted
Moving objects around the office or home is a common occurrence. However, during the process, one may be unaware that they have placed the object in a way that restricts the fire extinguisher or may believe it is still accessible. This is a serious issue; in the event of a fire, people do not have time to search for a fire extinguisher. As a result, it is critical that the extinguisher is always visible and accessible. Monthly inspections ensure that they are in the correct position and are easily accessible.
You can also visually inspect the extinguisher to see if it has been damaged. Look for signs, such as a seal and pin on the extinguisher, that indicate it hasn’t been used before. In some cases, inspections may need to be performed more frequently. For example, on a construction site or in areas like warehouses where fires are more likely.
It is critical that you take control measures as soon as you notice any problem with the extinguisher, such as a defective or leaking component.
Most extinguishers require annual servicing, which must be performed by a qualified engineer. This is a much more thorough inspection than a monthly inspection. Annual maintenance checks include the following:
- Safety checks on pin
- Refit or replace the pin as required
- Checking the head cap
- Checking signs for corrosion of extinguisher
- Checking emitting hose
- Checking the labelling
- Weight and pressure check
- Verify that the pressure gauge is working
- Replacing the components as needed
- Replacement of cartridges and charges as needed
- Wipe down
- Wall mount check
- New tamper seal
- Sign check
- Completion of service label
The maintenance check may differ depending on the type of extinguisher. Most fire extinguishers require annual maintenance. It is equally important to keep track of the extinguishers’ service and maintenance.
5-10 year servicing
Even with periodic maintenance, fire extinguishers do not last forever. Extinguisher components deteriorate over time, reducing the extinguisher’s efficiency. An extinguisher may require a complete overhaul or refill and replacement every 5-10 years, depending on the type and usage of the extinguisher. The following types of extinguishers may require a discharge or refill every five years:
Every ten years:
- Carbon dioxide
Extinguishers must be refilled or replaced every 5 to 10 years to remain completely working. However, due to corrosion and other factors, this may occur sooner in some circumstances.
In conclusion, maintaining regular checks, inspections, and servicing of fire extinguishers at your workplace is crucial for ensuring the utmost safety of your employees and the premises. By adhering to a strict schedule, such as monthly visual inspections, annual maintenance checks, and refilling or replacement as needed, you can minimize the risk of fire-related accidents and protect your valuable assets. Remember, fire safety should never be taken lightly, and staying up-to-date with the latest guidelines and regulations through online health and safety courses is an essential step toward creating a secure working environment. So, make fire extinguisher maintenance a top priority and prioritize the well-being of your workforce and your business.
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