Requirements for Inspection of Your Fire Extinguishers
By Justin Sagalow
September 9, 2022
Regular fire extinguisher inspection is required by local, state, and national fire codes. You must regularly inspect your extinguishers to comply with regulations. This is one important part of maintaining your fire safety system in any commercial or government environment.
What makes inspecting your fire extinguishers so important?
All fire extinguishers should be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that they are free from physical damage and in proper working condition. If fire extinguishers are not inspected regularly, they may not work properly in the event of a fire, which could lead to serious injury or death.
In this diagram, a fire extinguisher is inspected by an inspector. Its inspection tag is updated, and a Prism LX monitors an automated weight sensor.
Furthermore, fire codes require fire extinguishers to be inspected regularly, so it is important to comply with these regulations to ensure fire safety in your workplace, retail establishment, government agency, or other facility.
What NFPA codes apply to extinguisher inspection?
The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is a non-profit organization that develops fire codes and standards. These fire codes and standards are used to help protect people, property, and the environment from fire and electrical hazards.
One of the key areas that the NFPA deals with is fire safety. The NFPA has a variety of fire codes and standards that deal with fire extinguishers. One such standard is NFPA 10, which covers the inspection, maintenance, and testing of fire extinguishers:
NFPA 10 provides requirements to ensure that portable fire extinguishers will work as intended to provide a first line of defense against fires of limited size.
NFPA 10 (currently the 2022 Edition as I write this) mandates that fire extinguishers be inspected on a regular basis to ensure that they are in proper working condition. If fire extinguishers are not inspected regularly, they may not work properly in the event of a fire, which could lead to serious injury or death.
It is important to note that NFPA 10 is just one of many fire codes and standards that deal with fire extinguishers. Other notable codes include NFPA 901, which covers the testing of fire extinguishers, and NFPA 12, which deals with the installation of fire extinguishers.
It is important to comply with NFPA 10 when inspecting your fire extinguishers. Failure to do so could result in significant safety risks for you, your employees, and/or the general public.
What is the process for fire extinguisher inspection?
The process for inspecting fire extinguishers can vary depending on the type of extinguisher being inspected. Even the requirement for who is qualified to perform an inspection depends on local rules.
Remember that applicable fire codes are the final authority on what you must do. Don't base your decisions only on an article you're reading on the internet.
Nonetheless, I'll walk you through a typical inspection. There are some general steps that are commonly taken when inspecting fire extinguishers and updating each inspection tag.
- First, check the fire extinguisher's pressure gauge to make sure that it is in the green zone. This indicates that the fire extinguisher is full and ready to use.
- Next, check the fire extinguisher's nozzle for any blockages or damage. The nozzle should be clear so that the fire extinguisher can discharge properly.
- Finally, check the fire extinguisher's hoses and valves for any signs of damage or leaks. If you find any damage, replace the fire extinguisher immediately.
By regularly inspecting your fire extinguishers, you can ensure that they are in good working condition and ready to use in the event of a fire.
There are many different types of fire extinguishers with different requirements
There are many different types of fire extinguishers on the market, and each one has its own unique set of inspection, monthly maintenance, and/or annual maintenance requirements.
For example, carbon dioxide extinguishers require a visual inspection to make sure that the nozzle is clear and the pressure gauge is in the green zone. Dry chemical fire extinguishers must be inspected for blockages in the nozzle and damage to the hose and valves. And halon fire extinguishers must be inspected for damage to the hoses, valves, and cylinders.
Examining the pull pin on any extinguisher that has one ensures that it can be removed during a fire.
In addition, fire codes may specify different inspection requirements for different types of fire extinguishers. So it is important to check with your local fire department to find out what specific inspection requirements apply to your fire extinguishers.
Can I automate fire extinguisher inspection?
Not fully, no, but there are things you can do to improve your overall fire safety.
Fire extinguishers with weight sensors can detect when an extinguisher is empty, which will help you to proactively replace the extinguisher before it's needed in an emergency.
A fire extinguisher with a weight sensor will typically have a small weight that hangs on the end of the hose. When the fire extinguisher is full, the weight will be heavy enough to keep the sensor in the "on" position. But when the fire extinguisher is empty, the weight will be light enough to allow the sensor to turn off.
This allows you to track each fire extinguisher's usage and determine when it needs to be replaced. You can also use a fire extinguisher's weight sensor to trigger an alarm or notification when an extinguisher is low on pressure or needs to be serviced.
Weight sensors are a proactive way of detecting empty fire extinguishers before they become a problem. By using weight sensors, you can ensure that your fire extinguishers are always in good working condition and ready to use in case of an emergency.
What else should I be proactively inspecting and monitoring?
Fire alarms and fire extinguishers are two of the most important elements of a fire safety system.
For that reason, another important part of fire safety is fire alarm and FACP monitoring. This means monitoring the fire alarm system and fire protection system (FPS) to make sure that they are in good working condition and ready to respond in the event of a fire.
There are many things that need to be monitored as part of a fire alarm and FACP monitoring system. Some of the most important items include the following:
- Fire alarm panels (FACP)
- Fire alarm sensors
- Smoke detectors
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Fire pumps
By monitoring these items, you can ensure that your fire alarm system is working properly and that your fire protection system is ready to respond in the event of a fire.
Your employees, the public, and even firefighters depend on fire extinguishers.
How can I work around my older fire alarm equipment?
Many fire alarm systems use outdated communication protocols that are no longer supported by newer fire alarm equipment. However, there are a number of compatibility tools available that can allow you to continue using your older fire alarm equipment.
One common compatibility tool is a converter. Converters can be used to convert the signals from your old fire alarm equipment to a format that is supported by your new fire alarm equipment. This allows you to continue using your old fire alarm equipment without having to replace it.Another common compatibility tool is a bridge. Bridges can be used to connect two different fire alarm systems together. This allows you to use both your old fire alarm system and your new fire alarm system at the same time.
By using compatibility tools, you can continue using your older fire alarm equipment while you upgrade your fire safety system. This allows you to avoid the cost and hassle of replacing your entire fire alarm system.
Does Digitize inspect fire extinguishers?
At Digitize, we don't directly service fire extinguishers, but we know a lot about them and can help you find someone who does.
There are a number of companies that provide fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance services. These companies can inspect your fire extinguishers to make sure that they are in good working condition and compliant with fire codes.
If you're interested in fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance services, we recommend that you contact us. We can connect you with the right fire protection company that can perform a fire extinguisher inspection to yours in good working condition.
For example, our distributor R.B. Allen in New England (Massachusetts, Rhode Island, New Hampshire, Vermont, & Maine) offers a variety of maintenance and inspection services.
Technicians, including those hired from a third-party, can perform extinguisher inspections for you.
What can Digitize do for me?
Digitize equipment, like Prism LX, lets you build and manage your own fire alarm system. You can also add fire extinguisher sensors to your system so you will know when they need to be replaced or serviced.
If you're looking for help with your fire alarm and fire protection system, Digitize can help. We have a team of engineers who are experts in life safety systems. We can help you clarify your project goals and requirements so that you can get the job done.
Give me a call to discuss fire extinguishers or any other aspect of fire safety and monitoring
Let's talk about your project and get it moving.
Call me at 1-800-523-7232 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss fire extinguishers, fire alarms, or anything else you need. I'll be happy to answer your questions and help you get started.
Justin Sagalow is quite uniquely qualified for his Marketing Writer Position at Digitize. Arriving at Digitize with experience in law, finance, and editorial positions, Justin's skillset allow him to effectively communicate how best Digitize can address each client's individual needs. From his...Read More