One of the most important pieces of equipment in your home or office is a fire extinguisher. Portable fire extinguishers are great tools to include as part of your fire safety plan. When used properly, they can stop small fires from spreading through a building, reduce damages to property and most importantly, save lives.
More than likely your home or office has a fire extinguisher, but do you know how to inspect a fire extinguisher to ensure it is in good, working order? Get in the habit of a monthly fire extinguisher inspection to make sure it is ready in case you need it.
Fire Extinguisher Inspection Checklist
No matter which type of extinguisher you have, there are standard elements to check during your monthly inspections.
- First, make sure the fire extinguisher is located in a visible and unobstructed location. Check to make sure the inspection tag is on the extinguisher and if you are in an office, the date on the tag shows that it was inspected professionally within the last 12 months. By law, a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance contractor must have inspected it within the last year.
- Next, check to see if the extinguisher is “in the green.” The pressure gauge level will show you if it is undercharged, overcharged, or within the operational zone. The gauge needle should be pointing within the green area for optimal use. Even if you have never used the extinguisher, it still may need to be recharged.
- Another area to pay attention to is the tamper seal. The tamper seal should be holding the locking pin in firmly and it should not be damaged. During this visual inspection, also check for any physical damages such as dents. The operating instructions should be facing outward, too, and be clear and easy to read.
- After you have inspected the pressure gauge, tamper seal, and instructions, lift the extinguisher to determine if it is full. When lifted, you should be able to tell if the extinguisher is full with its anti-fire agent. Common fire extinguisher agents are water, foam, powder, carbon dioxide and wet chemical. Each agent is designed for different types of fires, so be sure to check the operating instructions to determine its use.
- The final step in performing a monthly inspection is to document the date. Your fire extinguisher should have a log of all previous inspections, including both professional and individual inspections.
Knowing how to inspect a fire extinguisher, both in offices and in homes, is a good habit to help reduce the risk of a fire spreading throughout a building or structure.
What To Do If You Have a Fire
Fires can be scary, and can spread quickly if not contained. Fire extinguishers are designed to control small fires and should not be used for large house and building fires. If you feel that the fire cannot be contained easily with a fire extinguisher, immediately leave the building and call 9-1-1.
Once the fire has been completely put out, you may have smoke, fire and even water damage. Sometimes, the damages may be too severe for you to handle on your own. If so, the Reynolds Restoration Services team can help you restore your office or home to its pre-loss condition. Our professional teams have been helping home and business owners respond to a loss due to a fire for more than 15 years.
While we hope you never need our services, reach out today if you need us. We are here to help.