So I’ve purchased my fire extinguishers for my company…now I can just sit back and relax until my fire protection company comes next year for inspection?
Well you can, but damage accumulates after every use, every time the extinguisher gets moved, and it gets damaged from everyday tasks that happen around the extinguisher.
That’s why NFPA requires monthly inspections. You don’t need a licensed professional to do your monthly inspections, so we’ve developed the inspection list for you.
Here are the 13 steps to perform your own monthly fire extinguisher inspection:
1) Make sure the extinguisher is in its designated place, is visible, and is accessible for immediate use. Check to ensure there is adequate signage above the extinguisher to indicate its location:
2) Check the service date to determine it’s need for inspection or maintenance. The date is shown on the tag:
3) Make sure the pointer on the extinguisher gauge is in the operating range:
4) Remove the extinguisher from wall hanger or bracket, making sure it’s secure enough to hold the extinguisher safely:
5) Heft the extinguisher (lifting up and down) to determine if it is fully charged with agent:
6) Examine the extinguisher shell and all exterior parts for evidence of damage, corrosion or other impairments:
7) Make sure the visual inspection seal is in place:
8) Verify the valve stem is in the full ‘up’ position and the stem has approximately 1/16” clearance:
9) Check the nameplates for damage and readability:
10) Inspect the hose and nozzle for damage or obstructions:
11) Record the date the inspection was performed and the initials of the person performing the inspection. Keep records of the extinguishers that were found to require corrective action:
12) Return the extinguisher to its designated place and secure.
13) You have now successfully completed your monthly fire extinguisher inspection!
We know fire extinguishers aren’t at the top of anyone’s list, but it’s always smart to be on the safe side. Who knows, that ONE time you may need your fire extinguisher, it may not work because someone knocked it over with the forklift, putting a dent in the extinguisher and making it completely useless.
It only takes a few minutes to go through these steps, but it is well worth the time.