Do you know where the closest fire extinguisher to you is in your building? If not, take time to search for the closest one and make sure that it’s not blocked by equipment, coats, or other items that could interfere with easily retrieving it in a fire. This is just part of a visual or “quick check” inspection that is required to be conducted on all fire extinguishers in Tulsa and Oklahoma City businesses every month.
Properly maintained fire extinguishers can be highly effective at saving lives and property in the event of a small fire. But “properly maintained” are key words to this effectiveness. A vital part of properly maintaining fire extinguishers is performing regular inspections. What inspections are needed? Are monthly “quick check” inspections all that are needed?
It’s important to note that different kinds of fire extinguishers will require different maintenance and testing, sometimes at different intervals, so you will need to check with a certified fire protection company in Tulsa or OKC on the requirements for the various extinguishers in your building.
However, all types of fire extinguishers are required by NFPA 10 to have a thorough inspection and maintenance service at least once a year, and all types of extinguishers are required to be visually inspected monthly. The annual inspection must be performed by a certified fire suppression professional, whereas the monthly “quick check” inspection can be conducted by a trained individual designated by the business owner or manager.
For the monthly fire extinguisher inspection, the designated individual should ensure:
- The extinguisher is in its designated location, is clearly visible, and will be easily accessible in the event of a fire, without any objects blocking it.
- The operating instructions on the nameplate can clearly and easily be read.
- The tamper seals are undamaged and the pull pin is intact, still inserted in the handle.
- The pressure gauge is in the normal operating range with the needle in the green zone.
- The extinguisher has no physical damage, such as tears or cracks in the hoses or nozzles, corrosion, leakage, or other signs of physical damage.
- The extinguisher still feels full and heavy. Dry powder extinguishers will need to be gently rocked top to bottom to ensure the powder is not packing.
- A record of the monthly inspection is recorded.
If the fire extinguish shows signs of even accidental discharge or other indications that it has been damaged, you will need to contact a certified Tulsa or OKC fire extinguisher specialist to perform a more thorough inspection.
NFPA 10 requires that a thorough inspection and maintenance be performed on all extinguishers at least once a year by a certified professional, when an inspection indicated that maintenance is needed, or at the time of hydrostatic testing. Mac Systems in both Tulsa and OKC can perform almost all fire extinguisher maintenance services on-site, which saves the business owner time and money. Hydrostatic testing is the only fire extinguisher service that must be conducted off-site.
Some kinds of extinguishers are required to have hydrostatic testing done every 5 years while other may only require a 12-year hydrostatic test. Stored-pressure extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test are also required to have a thorough internal examination every 6 years. Other time intervals for hydrostatic testing and internal examinations and recharging may also apply to various types of extinguishers.
Trying to keep up with the various requirements for fire extinguisher inspections can be confusing. That’s why it’s important to have a licensed and NICET certified fire protection company maintain your fire extinguishers. The certified fire protection specialists at Mac Systems in both Tulsa and OKC can help you keep track of when you need to conduct annual fire extinguisher inspections and perform any needed maintenance. By performing many of these required inspections and services on-site, we can save you time and money while ensuring you remain code compliant.