All business managers and homeowners know how important it is to have fire extinguishers hanging up somewhere in the building. Home fires are very common and can be caused by a host of things. For example, clogged dryer filters are a common cause, when lint in the vents catches fire. Sometimes, flammable material may accidentally catch fire, and if you don’t have a fire extinguisher handy, it may spread fast.
Fire extinguishers, like all other equipment, need regular servicing and maintenance to ensure they continue to work effectively. These are a few tips you should use to maintain your fire extinguishers.
1. Give Them a Visual Inspection at Least Once a Month
Fire extinguishers are not very complicated. They don’t have intricate lever systems that would be hard to understand. Because of this, in case there is trouble with your extinguisher, you may be able to see it immediately. Make a habit of checking your fire extinguishers once a month to sniff for any signs of trouble.
When checking, ensure that the safety seals on them aren’t broken and that the hoses aren’t blocked. Make sure they are easily accessible and they are hung on tightly screwed hooks to prevent it from falling off its position.
2. Contact a Professional to Inspect and Service Your Fire Extinguishers
Although visual inspection of your fire extinguishers goes a long way, you should make an appointment with a professional at least once every year. These experts will give your extinguishers a more thorough inspection.
They will check all the mechanical parts and ensure they’re working in top condition. Afterward, your inspector will record the inspection on the fire extinguisher tags. This will help you estimate when next your extinguisher is due for another review.
3. Schedule Six-Year Inspections
Six-year inspections are different from annual ones in the sense that your inspector will empty your fire extinguishers to take a look at the mechanical parts inside. Fire extinguishers are made to last for a long time, ideally 5-10 years. Being in use for this long may have caused wear, and a full-body inspection will help reassure you of your fire extinguisher’s condition.
If everything looks and works fine, your fire extinguishers will then be refilled, pressurized, and resealed. Your inspector will still make a record of this inspection on your tags.
4. Clean the Fire Extinguishers
You should regularly wipe down your fire extinguishers to get rid of dust, oil, and grease. A dense film of dust may make the handle’s pivot catch and make it harder to use when you need it. During a fire extinguisher training course, the trainers show you how to clean your extinguisher to make sure it is as functional as possible.
5. Check the Pressure
Fire extinguishers have a pressure gave you can check to ensure the device is at the proper operating range. If your extinguisher has a test indicator, press it to confirm that the pressure is in the correct scale. This means that your extinguisher is fully functional and will work effectively when used.
Although having a fire extinguisher in your house or building will help you in times of crisis, this is only the case if you know how to use it. Ensure that you and your employees have taken a professional fire equipment training course, first aid training, and, if possible, CPR training. It is good to be able to step up before the Emergency Response teams can make their way to your location. If a victim doesn’t receive CPR immediately after an accident, their survival chances decrease by 7% in every minute of delay.
When hanging up your fire extinguishers, ensure that they are correctly secured and that there are no obstructions nearby. You should also choose a spot that is close to an exterior door, which makes sure you have an escape route. You should have a fire extinguisher on every floor of your building.