How to Check Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguisher are devices that require a few basic checks to be done on them periodically to ensure that they are fit for service.

Fire Extinguishers

While professional agencies are responsible for maintenance of extinguishers in commercial buildings, homeowners should be aware of what items to check to ensure that their in-home extinguishers are ready in the event of an emergency.

Check the extinguishers gauge to determine whether or not it is holding a proper charge. The gauges will show that the extinguisher is either undercharged, overcharged, or properly charged. This indicates that the extinguisher is ready for use.

Inspect the hose, nozzle, and connections to ensure that they are free from debris or damage. The nozzle should be clear of any obstructions that could impede the flow of the suppression material.

The extinguisher cylinder should be inspected to ensure that it is clear of rust or damage. It should also be free of any dirt or grime which can obstruct the instruction label and extinguisher class markings.

Hydrostatic testing should be done every five years on the cylinder. This can be verified by locating the most current year stamped into the neck of the cylinder.

Things You Will Need

  • Fire extinguisher

Tip

  • Cylinders that have exceeded their testing date should be removed from service until they can be re-certified.

Warnings

  • Cracks in the hose, nozzle, or connectors can result in a failure to properly discharging the extinguisher.
  • Cylinders that show signs of damage or rust should be inspected by a professional to ensure that they are still structurally sound.

About the Author

E.H. McKenzie is an information technology professional who has been involved in writing technical and training manuals for the past 10 years. He holds a bachelor's degree in history from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania and has focused on writing for eHow on topics involving the fire service and military history themes.