Fire extinguishers are not something that the average person spends a lot of time thinking about. You probably spend even less time thinking about fire extinguisher maintenance. In fact, chances are, you won’t think about either until there is a fire and then you are frantically searching for a fire extinguisher trying to remember where it was that you once saw it. Unfortunately, if there is sub-standard fire extinguisher maintenance, it may not work as expected even if you do finally have one on hand.
Among the things you ought to consider when deciding what needs to be done to get proper maintenance service for fire extinguishers are when it was originally bought; the last time it was inspected; and the last time it was refilled. You must not be complacent as regards these products, because it is possible that they can fail, which can only be discovered when you need them most. However, with proper fire extinguisher maintenance, it can no doubt have the capability to save your life.
Ideally, you should do a brief fire inspection each month and look for signs of wear and tear. You should also check its card to see when it is scheduled for a professional inspection. A fire extinguisher refill may be needed at some point depending on how quickly the pressure leaks out. This can take months or even years, depending on the conditions of the place where the device is kept. For instance, cool dark places may slow down its leaking compared to places that are exposed to direct sunlight.
Another thing that you should keep in mind, along with having regular fire extinguisher maintenance, is to make sure the device is not obstructed by boxes, coats or equipment that could make the device harder to access. The device needs to be in the correct pressure level and you can check this by looking at the gauge. There is a needle in the gauge that needs to be in the green zone. It cannot be at a higher or lower pressure than that or else it could cause future problems. The nozzle and handle should not be tampered in any way. Make sure the pin and seal are not broken or worn out. You don’t want to see any kind of dents, scratches or other signs of abuse that could possibly prevent its effective operation. Remove all oil or other chemicals, which could have possibly accumulated on it. If you have a dry chemical fire extinguisher, some manufacturers recommend shaking it every thirty days to prevent the contents from settling at the bottom.
Following these advices and being attentive to your fire extinguisher maintenance can save your life. Failure on your part to do these regularly could lead to the failure of the device to perform properly. This could cause serious problems in case fire occurs in your place, be it a grease fire or electrical fire, which are not easy to put out with only water as they would require a stronger extinguisher especially made to put out fire. So, in order to avoid problems, it is advised that you be responsible with proper fire extinguisher maintenance.