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Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Ensure fire safety in your business through regular, efficient and effective fire extinguisher maintenance with a mobile application.

What is a fire extinguisher inspection?

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.

This guide gives a brief overview of the following points:

1. How to carry out a fire extinguisher maintenance in 3 minutes

2. The top 5 most frequently detected problems during an audit

3. A free mobile application to streamline fire extinguisher maintenance

Perform a fire extinguisher safety inspection in only 3 minutes

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.

1. check accessibility

Go to the fire extinguisher first to check its visibility and accessibility:

  1. Check if there is a fire extinguisher in the area and make sure it is clearly visible.

  2. It should not be blocked by equipment or other objects that would make access difficult in an emergency.

  3. Portable fire extinguishers which are not fitted with wheels must also be secured in a specific place (e.g. in an unlocked glass display case or wooden box) to prevent them from being moved.

2. check physical condition

Next you can check the fire extinguisher by checking it carefully for lettering, overall condition and physical defects:

  1. Search for the serial number of the fire extinguisher and check that the extinguisher label is legible.

  2. Check that the cylinder and other external metal parts are free from corrosion, dents and other signs of damage.

  3. Check whether the connection between hose and cylinder is secure.

  4. Check for cracks in the hose or leaks in the nozzle.

  5. Check that the safety rod goes through the holes of the outlet lever and handle and that the rod is well secured by the seal. The rod locks the outlet lever and prevents accidental emptying.

3. check pressure gauge

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.

4. look for the inspection label

Note whether an inspection label is available The label should indicate that a fire extinguisher is regularly inspected.

5. create a report and recommend one or more action plans

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!

The 5 most common problems during fire extinguisher maintenance

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:

1. location of fire extinguisher blocked

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.

2. the cylinder has dents and/or rust

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.

3. overloading or underloading of the fire extinguisher

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.

4. locking bolt missing/broken seal

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.

5. fire extinguisher standing directly on the floor

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.

Best mobile app for fire extinguisher maintenance

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:

  • Efficiently perform paperless maintenance via your mobile devices
  • Easy attachment of photo documents to the report after fire extinguisher maintenance
  • to forward problems identified during the inspection by assigning corrective actions
  • Create complete visual reports and release them immediately
  • to save and document data immediately
  • Templates for fire extinguisher maintenance and previous reports always at hand

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.

Featured templates

Fire Extinguisher Audit

Fire Extinguisher Audit

Use this template to regularly check the fire extinguishers in a building for proper functioning. See template

Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Report

Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Report

Use this Monthly Fire Extinguisher Inspection Report to maintain safety in your workplace. See template

Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Use this template to conduct annual maintenance fire extinguisher inspection. See template

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