Fire Extinguishers Inspections Tampa, Florida

Fire Extinguisher Inspections

What are the inspection, testing, and maintenance requirements for FIRE EXTINGUISHERS?

The National Fire Protection Association's "NFPA 10," "Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers" specifies minimum requirements that must be met for a fire extinguisher to be considered safe. The requirements in NFPA 10 require the force of law in states by virtue of adoption or reference in states statutes, regulations, or through references in building and fire codes that are the law in those states.

The following are the items that should be done to maintain your extinguishers in good working order:

Monthly Fire Inspections and Testing

...should be performed by the end user to ensure the equipment is at the highest safety standard.  The extinguisher should be checked to see that it is not damaged, the discharge outlet (hose) is not blocked, that it is fully charged (gauge reading), the seal is not broken and that the operating instructions are clearly visible.

Annual Certification a more complete inspection of the extinguisher and should be done professionally. It will reveal the need for hydro testing which must be done on Dry Chemical and Halotron I extinguishers every TWELVE YEARS. Most local authorities require special tags be attached to the extinguisher to verify this service.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

Every six years, extinguishers shall be emptied and subject to thorough examination of: mechanical parts, extinguishing agent and expelling means. When applicable maintenance procedures are done during periodic recharging or hydro testing, the six-year requirement will begin from that date.

12 Year Hydro-Static Testing

...shall be performed on the cylinder showing that the extinguisher is still within factory standards.  The cylinder is pressurized and expanded to the specifications set forth by the particular manufacturer of the unit.

RECHARGE should be done immediately after any discharge by your service provider who has the trained personnel, extinguishing agents and equipment to do it properly. This extinguisher must be recharged with the extinguishing agent specified on the nameplate. Substitutions could effect the UL listing of the extinguisher.

Avoid the "Fire Extinguisher Game".

How do I pick a provider to maintain my extinguishers?  When deciding on a vendor to service your extinguisher you should obtain a quote on the detailed cost of the work to be done.  This should include ALL costs of certification including, parts, service charges and any "extras" that might be required.

Beware, there is no such thing as a .99 cent certification.  In the vast majority of cases, service providers that present low pricing for certification are trying to bait you into the Fire Extinguisher game.  The .99 cent price will not get the entire job completed.  You will find that with the "extras" added on, it will drive your price up to the current market value or beyond.  An example of what you might see are charges for the "Hanging Device", "Tamper seals", "Monthly Inspection Sticker", and the actual "Tag"!! All of these items are necessary to complete the job.  At .99 cents each for these items, your cost per extinguisher would be $4.95!!

Don't be fooled, request a quote with any possible charges that could show up on your invoice so you have ammunition to object to inflated hidden costs.

Ben Ward is our Fire Suppression and Extinguisher Division Manager. Ben has over 20 years working with fire extinguishers and suppression systems. Ben is the current license holder for portable fire extinguishers and manages our portable fire extinguisher service and maintenance as well as our installation and service of pre-engineered and engineered automatic fire suppression equipment. He is a member and attends regular seminars and classes offered by the Florida Fire Equipment and Dealers Association.

By: John Piper

Last Updated on Tuesday, 08 January 2013 14:15