Fire extinguishers. They might be the most important device in any given workplace that is forgotten about until they are needed the most. The NFPA reports that 80% fires are successfully put out by a fire extinguisher. Although fire extinguishers are reliable devices, there is no guarantee they will function properly if they have not been inspected. So, what goes into a fire extinguisher and how often should your business have one?

Types of Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Fire extinguishers are easy to use because of the fairly complex engineering that goes in to them. Because of this, there is more than one type of inspection that should be done to a fire extinguisher, depending on how old it is. Here are the three main exams that need to occur and the schedule for when they should be done:

Visual Inspection: Monthly

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), an employer is required to do a visual inspection of their fire extinguisher(s) to see that it is not ruptured or leaking. Signs of a leak can come from dents, cracks, or any other physical damage that can break the shell of an extinguisher. You also should check to see that the pressure gauge falls with in the operating range; or the green colored area. Finally, you should check that the pull pin is still in place and verify the date of the previous inspection on the device.

Maintenance Inspection: Annually

An annual inspection requires that a professional comes to your work area to do an inspection. Iowa Fire Control has a team of experts who are certified in professional fire extinguisher inspectors. Once you a technician comes out to service your fire extinguisher, it will receive a new dated tag that will be good for another year. If you are due for an annual inspection, give us a call!

Internal Maintenance Inspection: Every 5-12 Years

These inspections also require a certified professional to inspect your equipment. The amount of time between inspections is dependant on the type of equipment you have. These inspections generally require us to do what is known as a ‘hydrostatic test’. During this, we will actually discharge the fire extinguisher and take it through a rigorous test to make sure it still operates. Typically, wet chemical fire extinguishers need this every 5 years while dry chemical fire extinguishers need this every 12 years. If you are unsure of what category your equipment falls under, feel free to contact Iowa Fire Control to learn more.

Fire Suppression Experts

If your business needs fire extinguisher services, fire extinguisher training, fire alarm systems, or any of our other service, contact us today! Iowa Fire Control has locations in Fort Dodge, Des Moines, Mason City, Burlington, and Ames. We proudly serve businesses throughout the entire state of Iowa. Let us help you with all of your fire suppression needs and concerns!