Checking your fire extinguishers
Fire extinguishers in commercial or public buildings should be visually inspected monthly for damage or pressure loss and should be serviced to BS 5306-3 once a year. Water, foam, and powder fire extinguishers must be discharged and refilled every five years. CO2 fire extinguishers must be refurbished after ten years.
In between the annual service of fire extinguishers, we recommend that you visually check them monthly, see below our simple steps on how to visually check a fire extinguisher and what to look out for!
How to check your Fire extinguishers
This is to show how much pressure is in the extinguisher, sometimes the needle in the gauge can stick due to damage or moisture, this can give a false reading and needs to be checked. The gauge arrow should be in the green zone.
The tamper seal has two purposes, 1, holding the safety pin in place and 2, it provides a visual indication that the safety pin hasn’t been removed so the extinguisher couldn’t have been discharged using the handle. You should check that this is still securely in place.
On the body of the fire extinguisher you should be able to read information such as its operation, ratings and refilling etc. If this information is unreadable then the extinguisher will be condemned. Also, the body of the extinguisher can sometimes get damaged and show signs of corrosion, this could be dangerous as there is a possibility that the extinguisher could burst, releasing all its pressure instantly and can seriously injure the user.
Sometimes the hose on an extinguisher can get torn, frayed etc. This means it could leak during discharge. If all the foam, water, powder etc is not reaching the fire then the extinguisher will have a lower rating then stated on the cylinder and will be less effective.
The person responsible for checking the fire extinguishers and other fire equipment in the premises should record the results of the visual inspections and arrange for immediate corrective action by a competent person if anything is found to be wrong.
Contact MAGG Group Ltd for all your fire safety needs, from fire extinguisher servicing, fire alarm installation and servicing to fire risk assessments contact us for more details