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How often do we need to test our Fire Extinguishers?

There is a high chance that inspection and monitoring of fire extinguishers are not always front of mind. We tend to forget that fire extinguisher are placed in our workplace or home until the day we need them. 

While we may not need to check the extinguisher is still there every morning, there’s nothing worse than remembering it for a cause just to find it is not working. 

To ensure this does not happen, we recommend scheduling your fire extinguisher inspection and keeping your extinguisher ready for use at any given time. Inspecting your fire extinguisher ensures it is in sound working condition, which can be crucial to protecting properties in the event of a fire.

To help you out, we have prepared a brief guide on the best fire extinguisher testing schedule for optimal safety and compliance.

How often we need to inspect our fire extinguishers depends on which type of fire extinguisher. So, before you plan your inspection schedule, you must gather thorough knowledge about the functionality of your system. You must speak to a professional to ask for assistance and get fire safety training

The recommendations and requirements for the time between inspections differ from system to system. Let’s learn more about the schedule on which a fire extinguisher shall be inspected:

Visual Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Visual fire extinguisher inspection is one of the most necessary procedures. The visual inspection of fire extinguishers by professionals at least once every month can ensure the smooth functioning of your unit. Whether you own a fire extinguisher in your workplace or home, monthly inspections help ensure several important points:

  • The extinguisher has no physical or internal damage.
  • The equipment is in working condition and placed in its designated spot.
  • No obstructions are blocking the equipment.
  • The extinguisher is well charged and has smooth functioning.

Visual inspection covers

  • Inspecting for visible signs of physical damage, considering corrosion, leakage, or dents.
  • Inspecting and monitoring the pressure gauge to ensure the indicator is in the operating range.
  • Verify the previous date of a professional inspection.

 

Yearly inspection and maintenance of your fire extinguisher 

As per the Safe Work Australia guidelines, you must perform a thorough maintenance inspection of the fire extinguishers every year.

Under the yearly maintenance inspection, the professionals follow a thorough examination and repair, as needed, of your fire extinguishers’ equipment.

To ensure the best quality and avoid paying a fine, ensure you get the annual fire extinguisher maintenance inspections from a professional fire protection organization.

These companies have a team of experts and updated tools to ensure optimal compliance while detecting and improving potentially hazardous circumstances. Once a fire extinguisher passes the annual maintenance, it gets approval with the successful inspection tag. That tag is applicable for one year from the date indicated. The unit must be repaired or replaced if it fails to pass the inspection.

Internal Maintenance Inspection 

Depending on equipment type, this thorough examination must be performed every five or seven years.

This Internal maintenance examination encompasses settling the fire extinguisher and a complete internal investigation and recharging to ensure all mechanisms of the fire extinguisher are working properly. Dry chemical fire extinguishers often require an internal examination on a 12-year hydrostatic test and a 6-year internal examination. 

You must hydrostatically test your fire extinguisher cylinders to ensure their integrity and ability to contain the pressure and expel the agent is maintained safely.

On the other hand, pressurized water, carbon dioxide, and wet chemical fire extinguishers must be hydrostatically inspected and optimized every five years. 

Occasionally, fire extinguisher cylinders also need to be hydrostatically inspected. This occasional inspection requires the fire extinguishers to be taken down, settled underwater, and subjected to pressures exceeding their ratings. 

Fire extinguishers that fail this test are decommissioned as they are not safe to use anymore. The ones that pass will be reconvened, re-energized, and settled back into service.

To ensure your team is informed about all things fire safety, including how to know whether a fire extinguisher may need to be inspected or changed, book a team fire safety training session with certified fire protection specialists.

Bottom line 

Adequate inspection and maintenance of your fire extinguishers ensure the safety of your employees and your property. To ensure your fire extinguisher is working smoothly, schedule an inspection and assessment today and start creating a safer space. 

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