Ensure fire safety in your business through regular, efficient and effective fire extinguisher maintenance with a mobile application.
A fire extinguishers maintenance is carried out monthly to ensure that the fire extinguishers are in good working order. Fire extinguisher testing and monitoring falls under inspections carried out by external specialists or a company's own safety officers as part of the overall fire safety strategy.
Over 90% of fires in commercial properties are extinguished early with a fire extinguisher. Even a single malfunction of the fire extinguisher endangers countless lives. The task of a safety officer is to carry out regular checks of the fire extinguishers and to keep all records up to date so that the building and tenants are safe. It is vital that a safety officer knows how to carry out fire extinguisher maintenance efficiently. Only in this way will he be aware of the most common problems that occur during maintenance and know how to react accordingly.
When performing a monthly maintenance of the fire extinguisher, it is important to follow these 5 key steps. Once you have learned what to look out for, you should expect to be able to safely complete a test for the fire extinguisher in just 3 minutes.
Go to the fire extinguisher first to check its visibility and accessibility:
Next you can check the fire extinguisher by checking it carefully for lettering, overall condition and physical defects:
Check where the manometer needle is located. It should be in the green zone. If it's in the left red zone, it means that the fire extinguisher is undercharged and needs recharging, while a needle in the right red zone indicates the danger of overcharging.
Note whether an inspection label is available The label should indicate that a fire extinguisher is regularly inspected.
Once the fire extinguisher maintenance is complete, summarise the observations and develop an action plan. Make sure that you sign the fire extinguisher maintenance tag (if any) with your name, signature and the date of inspection. That's it!
While it is important to know how to recognise a properly functioning fire extinguisher, it is equally important to know the most common problems and how to react to them:
Issue: If a fire extinguisher is blocked, this could mean the difference between life and death. Watch out for cases where a portable fire extinguisher may be hidden behind furniture, office equipment and doors or under office desks and sinks.
Solution: You should remove obstacles immediately or reposition the fire extinguisher. Make sure that the fire extinguisher is clearly visible to everyone. Place it on a natural transport route, e.g. in a corridor or at an entrance/exit. Place it under clear fire extinguisher signs.
Issue: As fire extinguishers are often left unused, they can suffer physical deterioration due to damp or corrosive environments, constant transport or accidental impact. Physical defects can lead to malfunction or dangerous explosions.
Solution: Send the cylinder immediately to the manufacturer for replacement.
Issue: A fire extinguisher with a good charge has sufficient speed to propel the chemical to 10 to 20 feet. An overloaded fire extinguisher can cause a leak or worse, a cylinder explosion. An undercharged fire extinguisher can be equally dangerous and may not be able to extinguish fire.
Solution: Send the bottle immediately to the manufacturer for replacement or recharging.
Issue: Locking pins and seals can be lost if they are not replaced, tampered with or simply not installed after a training exercise. These two must always go together, as they prevent accidental pressing of the lever and release of the extinguisher contents.
Solution: Whatever is missing, get a replacement from the supplies immediately. Pins and seals are either metal or plastic. If they are not in stock, contact your fire extinguisher supplier or go to the nearest hardware store.
Issue: A fire extinguisher placed directly on the floor can cause others to accidentally push it away, causing further injury to the body. The changing floor temperature can also have a direct effect on the fire extinguisher, which can lead to a change in pressure.
Solution: Depending on the size of the cylinder, it is common practice to mount it on a wall 3.5 - 5 feet above the floor using metal brackets. Alternatively, you can also use fire extinguisher stands made of wood or steel.
Safety officers can inspect up to 100 fire extinguishers in a building per month, not to mention the full maintenance report for each individual extinguisher. With all this paperwork, the likelihood of human error increases, which means that the risk of fire from a single malfunctioning extinguisher also increases.
Lumiform helps safety officers improve fire safety in the workplace by making fire extinguisher maintenance more efficient. The mobile application for regular fire extinguisher maintenance enables them to:
Learn more about how to best use Lumiform's fire inspection software. We've prepared templates for your fire extinguisher checklists that you can customize and use immediately with the app.
Use this template to test multiple fire extinguishers in a building. See template
Use this Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Report to maintain safety in your workplace. See template