Fire Extinguishers must be inspected Monthly and serviced every year. It is always important for your Fire Extinguisher to be ready in case of a fire. You don’t have to be certified to inspect a Fire Extinguisher.
Things to look for while doing a monthly inspection are the following:
- Make sure the handle is working properly and not broken
- Make sure the pull pin is not broken or falling off
- Make sure the tampered seal is intact
- Look at the gauge, making sure the yellow needle is in the middle green area and not in the area that indicates needs to be charged or overcharged
- Look for any dents, scratches and corrosion on the hose and body of Extinguisher.
- Make sure the hose does not have any obstructions (spiders sometimes like to make homes here)
- Make sure there is an inspection tag/sticker to initial/document the month and year of the inspection as well as your initials and fill this in.
Are there different types of Fire Extinguishers?
Different types of fire extinguishers are categorized in class rating and are color coded to reflect the type of fire they can put out. These different types of fire extinguishers are:
- Dry Powder
- Wet Chemical
Most common fire extinguishers used in workplaces are dry chemical powder with an ABC class rating.
- Class A- Wood, Paper, Cloth or Rubbish fires
- Class B- Flammable/combustible
- Class C- Electrical
- Class D- Metal
- Class K- Cooking oils, fats and greases
It is important to use the proper Fire Extinguisher for the proper type of fire.
What basic information is recommended for use of a Fire Extinguisher?
There is a well-known acronym to describe four basic steps to put out a fire. This acronym is known as PASS.
- Pull- pull the pin
- Aim- aim low at base of fire
- Squeeze- squeeze handle
- Sweep- sweep from side to side.
It is important to approach the fire standing at a safe distance. Recommended safe distance while putting a fire out ranges from 6ft-10ft depending on the fire extinguisher size and weight.
It is important to leave the area immediately if you are unable to extinguish the fire. A 10-25 lb fire extinguisher will discharge in approximately 10-20 seconds.
Position yourself with a clear behind you in case the fire becomes too dangerous and you need a quick exit. Ensure you hold the fire extinguisher upright and pointing away from you, aiming low at the base of the fire, sweeping from side to side.
Call 911 and evacuate the area as soon as possible.