Maintenance for Fire Extinguishers

The fire extinguisher container has limited period of exploitation notwithstanding the fact of non-usage. The fire extinguisher content is prone to lose inside pressure, inner sides of it are able to experience corrosion or rust in case of containing liquid, and if having constant high pressure, container seams may lose their hermetization.

The container’s seals may be damaged by incorrect storage conditions or under stand-by mode storage, valves has a feature to jam and after that the fire extinguisher becomes a fire safety knocked apparatus as a part of fittings and fixed asset of a certain building.

Annual Maintenance for Fire Extinguishers

The Code of Practice being a part of UK Standard 5306 part 3, stipulates maintenance and care activity for fire extinguishers, and prescribes to integrate fire extinguisher’ containers into premises according to Fire Risk Assessment procedure which is in effect as well as Regulatory Reform Order 2005 legal requirements (or Fire Safery).

Fire extinguishers in annual basis (or more frequently, if the extinguisher is used in an environment with high fire risk or corrosion) shall be held by competent person, who is obliged to inspect or check every single extinguisher and provide data for what amount of them needs to be replaced, execute repressuring and if there are those achieved the limit of their operational life.

“Second life” of the Fire Extinguisher: renovation or substitution

If taking this question from the cost effective and time-economizing point of view, the latest variant is far more appropriate as the process of fire extinguishers renovation is pretty long way requiring great variety of procedures: first goes inspection, then removal of the container from its location in the premise, different pressure tests, removal of inactive parts, then repressuring and refilling and then the extinguisher is returned in initial location.

Nowadays companies dealing with the fire extinguishers maintenance service, are prone to exchange the capsule for new tested one, but in this case you have great chance to get a bit different modification, and sometimes, lower class unit. And this service exchange usually costs almost half a price for a new one.

So as we mentioned above at the beginning of this section, it is much more appropriate just to purchase new one or order through the Internet, moreover, there you can face different discounts and very attractive offers to follow. Your old extinguisher will be simply recycled afterwards.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection And Annual Maintenance

Your Office Fire Extinguishers should be inspected on monthly basis

Under inspection, we mean simple visual investigation and check, and we believe this easy procedure will not take much of your time, as it should be done once a month, but it can save lives and money, and it should be the responsibility of every company employee.

  1. Every fire extinguisher should stand properly at respective floor or wall brackets along with free access to it. One should be assured that every fire extinguisher hanging/standing brackets are secured and firm; the signage is not damaged and clearly seen by the staff; this is necessary for the staff to see the extinguisher in case of emergency. In the event of any damage, leak of unclear signage it should be replaced at once.
  2. The pressure gauge should be checked. The needle of the gauge should remain in green zone. If it is in red zone, there are two ways: either to repressure the extinguisher, or substitute it with new one.
  3. All seals on fire extinguisher should not be damaged or torn; safety pin is in its proper place and secured by special evident seal or OK mark. In case of cleaning, one should carefully remove the dust from nozzle, valves, gauge areas (you can also use vacuum cleaners), or if the area is oriented to be particularly dusty or dirty, provide special fire extinguisher covers.
  4. Every fire extinguisher should be checked for any dents, rust places, or leak. If you noticed any of it, replace the fire extinguisher immediately, and remove the old one safely. In case if the extinguisher is seriously damaged, we strongly advise you NOT to replace it yourself as the container may explode. Call in a specialist who will do the job safely.
  5. Labeling should be clearly visible. Some manuals say about shaking small powder extinguishers to prevent inside from turning into cake mass. In reality you should just hold the unit upside down close to your ear and listen the falling of loose powder. You shouldn’t try it with large containers.
  6. And the last, but not least. You should check for the location near extinguisher and be assure nothing prevents you from urgent access to it in case of emergency.

Safe Disposal of Fire Extinguishers

One important thing you should remember – extinguishers are under pressure and one should be very cautious while removing it to escape fatal outcome. Safe extinguishers can be used during training sessions, but in most premises only water and CO2 ones are safe. Plain water extinguishers can be emptied into drains, but powder ones should be landfilled.

Fire Extinguishers Recycling

Several companies dealing with extinguisher maintenance, work with refilling and renovating companies as the majority of extinguisher details can be recycled. All extinguisher bodies are inspected, and if there is sound, it is used again, if not – it is hacked in two, or scrapped to escape further usage.