Most people realize that fire extinguishers need to be
recharged, or refilled, after use but many people don’t know that extinguishers
may need to be recharged as a part of their regular maintenance. Skipping this
step can be disastrous if a fire breaks out.
Why You Should
Recharge Your Fire Extinguisher
Even if very little of the contents of the fire extinguisher
have been used—because of a small fire or as part of a demonstration on how to
use the fire extinguisher—the fire extinguisher needs to be recharged. Since
the contents of the fire extinguisher are kept under pressure, it needs to be
full to keep it working at its maximum potential.
During the monthly maintenance inspection, you may discover
that a fire extinguisher’s pressure gauge have moved into the red. It may be a
signal that your extinguisher needs a recharge.
In order to be efficient in times of emergency, all of the
fire extinguishers needs to be fully recharged and in working order. If a
canister is dented, scored, or deeply scratched, you should replace or repair it
of immediately refilling the contents. Remember that you should have a
inspect each fire extinguisher on the premises at the
six and twelve year anniversary of the manufactured date. Check the bottom of
the canister or the label to find a stamped date of manufacture.
Extinguishers Are Recharged
The method of refilling a fire extinguisher varies depending
on the contents of the fire extinguisher. If the extinguisher has been used,
it’s important to empty the remaining contents before you refill the canister.
Trained fire extinguisher
can often come to your office, restaurant, school, or business so
you don’t have to waste your time hauling the extinguishers across town. In
some areas, the fire department can provide this service or recommend a company
Many businesses and school have multiple fire extinguishers
on the premises. You may find it more cost effective to buy a recharging unit
and recharge your fire extinguishers yourself. With some basic training—and the
right equipment, the proper refilling agent, and an air compressor—you can
easily refill your extinguishers yourself.
Once the fire extinguisher is recharged, check the pressure
gauge. It should be in the green zone and should read around 100 to 175 psi.
The contents will be at the right level and air inside will be at the right
level of pressure when the gauge reads properly. If you have a fire
extinguisher with a plastic or nylon head, it should not be refilled after use
or expiration. A plastic head will crack and leak over time. It’s best to
invest in a fire extinguisher that has a metal head. These last longer and can
easily be refilled.
The Ontario Fire Code dictates that fire extinguishers
should be recharged every six years. Ignoring the recharge date for your fire
extinguisher may result in fines, not to mention disaster if there is a fire
and the extinguisher doesn’t work.
It’s every business owner’s responsibility to ensure that
all fire extinguishers on the premises have been recharged and are ready in case