Regular fire extinguisher inspection is an important part of
your company’s fire prevention strategy.
The Basics of Fire
Fire extinguishers are an important part of any workplace’s
fire prevention plans. A working fire extinguisher can mean the difference
between a small fire and a fire that has spread out of control.
It’s your responsibility to ensure that all the fire
extinguishers on your property are working properly. At the very least, each
fire extinguisher should undergo inspection once a month.
It’s also important to have the right kind of fire
extinguisher for your business. You should consider the types of fires that can
happen since the equipment needed to extinguish an electrical fire is different
from what’s needed to stop a grease fire.
Always ensure that the fire extinguisher is within reach if
needed. It shouldn’t be located behind merchandise or too high.
Check the pressure gauge on the fire extinguisher. Usually
the gauge has a green zone buffered by red zones on each side. If your fire
extinguisher is in the red during inspection, it needs to be repaired or
Other reasons for repairing or replacing a fire extinguisher
include a missing safety pin, if it weighs less than the label indicates it
should, or if the canister has been dented, scored, or deeply scratched.
Fire extinguishers need to be tested and inspected by a
properly registered fire protection
after six and 12 years from the manufacturing date stamped on
the fire extinguisher.
Fire Extinguisher Training
A fire extinguisher is only as effective as the person who
It’s important that employees or residents understand that
different fire extinguishers have different uses. If a fire extinguisher filled
with water is used on a fire containing flammable liquid, it can actually cause
the fire to flare up and spread quickly.
There is a two-prong approach to ensuring that this doesn’t
happen. The first is confirming that the right fire extinguisher is in the
right area. An inspection should confirm that the kitchen has a fire
extinguisher that can deal with grease fires while a server room is equipped
with fire extinguishers meant for electrical fires. Using that water-based fire
extinguisher on electrical equipment could cause an electric shock for the
person holding the extinguisher.
Check your fire extinguisher
see if it’s large enough or powerful enough to deal with potential fires. A
class A or B fire extinguisher has a rating to show the size of the fire that
it can handle. Class A fire extinguishers can handle fires rated from one to 40
while class B extinguishers can handle fires rated from one to 640. Higher
numbers can handle larger fires. Although it may seem like a good idea to equip
your workplace or home with the most powerful fire extinguisher possible,
remember that the larger the number in the rating, the heavier the fire
extinguisher will be. During an inspection, have the people most likely to use
the extinguisher—those close by or janitorial staff—pick it up and try carrying
it around. You may find the extinguisher will be useless if those who need it
most can’t even lift it off of the wall.
Schedule a regular fire extinguisher inspection to ensure
that your equipment is in working order.