What Is a Fire Extinguisher Inspection?
A fire extinguisher inspection is performed to verify the condition of the fire extinguishers and includes both maintenance and testing of the fire extinguishers.
An outside safety professional or an organization’s safety officer performs a scheduled fire extinguisher inspection as part of the overall fire safety strategy. Conducting a fire extinguisher inspection is the best thing you can do to ensure your fire extinguisher is reliable and effective in an emergency.
- A fire extinguisher inspection is performed to check the condition of the fire extinguishers, including both maintenance and testing of the fire extinguishers.
- A professional fire protection and equipment company must test and certify your fire extinguisher once a year.
- Inspections typically cost between $40 and $100, depending on the urgency and size of the business.
What Is a Fire Extinguisher?
A fire extinguisher is a device used to put out fires. It is usually portable and made of metal or plastic with an internal mechanism that contains pressurized carbon dioxide, water, foam, or dry chemicals. When there’s a fire, your first impulse should be to call the fire department. You can also put out small fires with a portable fire extinguisher, but you should only use it if you know how to use it.
What Are the Components?
Some fire extinguishers may contain a carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguisher, which is a dry-powder extinguisher. Others may have sodium bicarbonate, while other fire extinguishers may contain sodium carbonate and a flask of acid.
History of Fire Extinguishers
Captain George William Manby invented the first fire extinguisher in 1818, and it worked by expelling a stream of water onto the flames. It was constructed from a copper cylinder with a plunger at one end and a hose nozzle.
The cylinder was put into a chemical solution called “extinguishing liquid” (potassium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, and water). The pressure created when you pumped the handle forced the chemicals out.
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Are There Different Types of Fire Extinguishers?
Yes, there are five types of fire extinguishers:
- Water fire extinguishers.
- Foam fire extinguishers.
- Powder fire extinguishers.
- Wet fire extinguishers.
- Carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers.
Water Fire Extinguishers
First, we’ll look at water fire extinguishers, which are the most common and cheapest to use. Water fire extinguishers are devices used to put out different types of fires, especially combustible liquids. Water-based solutions effectively put out these fires because the water molecules soak into the fuel and cause it to lose its explosive properties.
Foam Fire Extinguishers
Secondly, foam fire extinguishers work the same way as water, but instead of just cooling it, they smother it with foam that dries hard when released. The foam is produced from a combination of water and a foaming agent, which produces a dense white foam that coats the fuel source and surrounding area, preventing oxygen from reaching the fuel. This prevents re-ignition once the flame has been extinguished.
Powder Fire Extinguisher
Thirdly, is the powder extinguishers. A powder fire extinguisher uses dry chemicals to put off Class D fires fueled by flammable metals, such as magnesium and potassium. Class D fires are also called “white-hot” fires because they produce very high temperatures that can melt or deform the metal.
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Wet Chemical Fire Extinguishers
Then we have the wet chemical fire extinguishers. Wet chemical fire extinguishers are a type of fire extinguisher that works using water and potassium-based chemicals. These chemicals mix to form a thick white foam when they come into contact with flames or hot surfaces, which smothers the fire and prevents it from burning any further.
This fire suppression agent is especially useful for fighting Class B fires like paper, wood, plastics, or electrical materials. This is because these fires require large amounts of water to put them off.
Carbon Dioxide (CO2) Extinguishers
Last on the list is the carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers. When a fire occurs, You can use CO2 extinguishers to turn it into a smothering fire. There are four different types of CO2 extinguishers: solid stream, cone, fog, and multi-purpose. They can be used on all types of fires, except for electrical fires. The main benefit of using these is that they do not leave any residue or toxic gases after use, making them okay to use in most environments.
All these types of fire extinguishers inter-change roles in case of a fire outbreak. Later on, we will be discussing the different types of roles each type of extinguisher play in case of a fire outbreak.
What Are the Different Fire Classes?
For one to be able to point out what type of fire extinguisher serves the best purpose in eradicating fires, there is a major factor that one has to consider; the cause of fire or what is burning. Let’s jump right into that list.
Class A fires are those that burn solid fuel, such as wood, paper, or plastic. They have a high potential to spread and cause injuries. Class A fires can also cause a lot of damage to property. If you’ve ever seen a fire in the movies, it’s probably been a Class A fire.
These type of fires are caused by flammable liquids, like diesel, paint, or petroleum oil.
The most common type of fire extinguisher in the office is a class C. These work on electrical fires, such as those caused by overheated wires and circuits. The Class C is also good at putting out grease and oil-based fires, such as those created by burning food or paper covered in cooking grease. They also take out flammable gases like butane, propane, and overheated electrical equipment.
Class D fires are the most common type of fire encountered in industrial settings. The materials that commonly support class D fires are plastics, rubber, and paints. Class D fires always involve highly flammable metals like potassium, lithium, sodium, magnesium, and titanium. A common misconception about class D fires is that the presence of dirt or other solid material makes it safer to fight. In fact, the opposite is true.
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Which Type of Fire Extinguisher to Use in Which Situation?
In the event of a fire emergency, it is important to know which type of fire extinguisher you need to use.
- Classification A: the ideal type of fire extinguisher to use is the water fire extinguisher.
- For class B fires, both the foam and powder fire extinguisher can be used effectively.
- Classification C fires: use the carbon dioxide (CO2) extinguishers and ABC powder extinguishers.
- For class D fires, one can make use of the M28 and L2 powder extinguishers.
Fire Extinguisher Inspection Requirements
If you were to ask someone what they think when they see a fire extinguisher, the answer is likely to be either “safety” or “fire”. However, if you ask them what comes to mind when they see a fire extinguisher that has not been inspected in years, the answer might be different.
Fire extinguishers are life-saving appliances that should be treated with respect. They are used to stop or suppress fire by removing heat from the fire through their chemical reaction, which disrupts the chain of events that leads to combustion. Fire extinguishers can be equipped with pressure gauges and strainers to prevent over-pressurization, but they require periodic maintenance to keep them in working order.
All fire extinguishers must be inspected annually by a competent person. This includes examining the operating instructions, pressure gauge, and discharge gauge for all types of portable fire extinguishers.
The competent person should also check that the extinguisher is visibly in good condition, not excessively dirty or oiled, that there are no signs of corrosion on the unit or its parts. The hose must be tight-fitting to the couplings and not damaged anywhere along its length. It must also have no holes.
Can a Fire Extinguisher Expire?
Although there is no expiration date on most fire extinguishers, you should make sure that your extinguisher being serviced on a regular basis. The average fire extinguisher will last between 5 and 15 years if well maintained.
How Can I Recognize If a Fire Extinguisher Is Expired?
Fire extinguishers are useful tools for putting out fires. However, most people don’t know how to identify an expired fire extinguisher. For this reason, they put themselves and others in danger. You should know that an expired extinguisher is not necessarily ineffective. It can still fight a fire, but it may be less effective than one with the correct timestamp.
Check the pressure gauge on the side of your fire extinguisher to see if you need to recharge or refill your unit. If your gauge reads below 100 psi, you’ll likely need to have it recharged before using it again.
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Who Can Carry Out a Fire Extinguisher Inspection?
All fire extinguishers must be regularly maintained and serviced. This is because a fire extinguisher can only be used once before requiring an inspection and service. If you don’t have your fire extinguishers checked on a regular basis, there is every chance they will fail to perform when you need them the most.
A professional fire safety and equipment company must test and certify your fire extinguisher once a year. Every six years, a comprehensive breakdown and internal inspection are required. It’s possible that you won’t require a professional to perform the monthly fire extinguisher inspection.
No one is authorized to conduct a fire extinguisher check-up routine or maintenance unless you are a legally registered fire extinguisher engineer under the law is to conduct such. Fire extinguishers are designed to be heavy, durable, and portable. They can’t operate effectively if they aren’t in good working order. For your safety and the safety of those around you, fire extinguishers must be inspected regularly, as a rule of thumb, at least once a year.
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What Else Needs to Be Considered?
When it comes to fire safety, you can never be too prepared. The best way to find out if your home is well protected against fire is to have a qualified expert assess it. If any gaps are found, they will recommend the necessary steps to address them.
Fire Extinguisher Inspection Costs
As a concerned premises’ owner, you would likely agree that it is important to keep your fire extinguishers in proper working order is important. But how often should they be inspected? And who should perform the inspection? These are all questions you need to be answered before your next fire extinguisher service.
Costs for a fire extinguisher inspection may vary depending on the type of fire extinguisher you have and the size. All kinds of fire extinguishers come in different sizes, which determines the cost you may incur during an inspection. Inspections typically cost between $40 and $100, depending on the urgency and size of the business.
Conclusion: How ToolSense Improves Your Equipment Safety Inspections
Fire extinguishers are essential for home and business safety. It’s vital to keep your fire extinguisher in good order, or it may not be able to be used should a fire occur.
We strongly recommend that you ensure that your fire extinguisher is serviced regularly. A service and equipment management solution like ToolSense can help you with this. By servicing your fire extinguisher, you can be sure that it will perform as needed in case of an emergency. Flexible rules, pre-configured and custom inspections and powerful automations ensure a flawless operation of your assets and reduce costs.
Missing these inspection dates can not only result in a heavy fine, but also endangers workers and makes machines more susceptible to faults. An equipment inspection software helps you keep track of all dates and audits, making it easy for you to comply with rules and enable regulatory compliance.
A fire extinguisher is a portable device used to put out fires. There are different types of fire extinguishers, but they all work in the same basic way: releasing an agent that smothers the fire.
Whether you are a tenant or a landlord, it is important to remember that regular maintenance of fire extinguishers can help ensure your safety in the home. Fire extinguishers need to be serviced every year; however, if your fire extinguisher has not been serviced for several years, then it might be time to replace it.
Try as much as possible to keep the stickers always on the fire extinguishers as you bought them. Keep all the fire extinguishers safe by placing them in a cool, dry place to avoid contacting rust.
Service fire extinguishers by following the manufacturer’s guidelines. In most cases, a fire extinguisher can be serviced for a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Quality is crucial when it comes to fire extinguishers. This will ensure effectiveness and safety against fires.
When it comes to extinguishing fires, all fire extinguishers are not created equal. There is a wide range of different extinguisher types and classes. The type you need depends on what kind of fire needs to be put out: electrical, wood or paper, flammable liquids or gasses, etc. You must use the right type of fire extinguisher for the right kind of fire. If not, you can make matters worse by using an incorrect extinguisher.