Having a safety plan is extremely important for your business but one thing that you make not think about is if your fire extinguisher is ready for a fire. You may already know, placing fire extinguishers around your building allows your trained employees to put out small fires before they turn into large devastating conflagrations. But will they work when they need to? If you want your fire extinguishers to work when you need them, you have to perform regular maintenance checks at least monthly. We have created a checklist to make sure your fire extinguisher is ready when you need it.
If people can’t see the fire extinguisher, then they are not going to know it is there when the need arises. Make sure that your fire extinguishers are placed in locations where they are clearly visible. If you store fire extinguishers in appropriate fire extinguisher cabinets, be sure they are clearly marked.
Also, make sure that people have unobstructed access to fire extinguishers. They should not be placed in tight spots or hidden behind office furniture. It should be easy to reach the extinguisher remove it from its holder quickly and safely. It is easy to forget and move furniture or other items in front of fire extinguishers. Regularly check to be sure the space around fire extinguishers is clear from any obstruction.
Most fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge with a green area that indicates the proper pressure. Make sure the the pressure reading is in the appropriate range. You should have your fire extinguishers recharged after every use. Low pressure may indicate that the extinguisher has been used but not recharged. If the pressure is not right, have a professional repair or recharge the fire extinguisher.
The pull pin is found in the handle. The pin is pulled out to allow the extinguisher to operate. If the pull pin is missing, someone has tried to operate the fire extinguisher or tamper with it in some way. In this case, have the extinguisher professionally inspected to replace the pin.
The tamper seal must be removed before the fire extinguisher may be used. If the seal is missing, then you should replace the extinguisher or have it professionally inspected to make sure it is ready to go when needed.
Check the extinguisher for any dents that may indicate it has been dropped. Also check for any rust or corrosion. These are signs that your fire extinguisher may be getting old and needs to be replaced. Additionally, clear any debris from hose and nozzles. Damaged fire extinguishers may explode, so make sure yours are in good condition every month.
There are different types of fire extinguishers. The manual will tell you what type you have. Dry chemical extinguishers contain a powdery substance that will settle over time. Make sure you shake these extinguishers once a month to prevent settling.
These simple steps are a quick monthly check to make sure that your fire extinguishers operate when you need them. A professional inspection is a more thorough check that may include repairs, recharging, or even replacing the extinguisher. It provides maximum assurance that your fire extinguishers will be ready in case of an emergency.
Each fire extinguisher has a tag where a professional inspector can record the date of the inspection. When you do your monthly maintenance, check the dates and get any extinguishers inspected if it has been more than a year since the last inspection. Additionally, have any extinguishers inspected that fail any of the monthly maintenance check points.
You may also want to occasionally review your safety plan to make sure that you have the right kind of fire extinguishers for the fires that might occur in your business. You also want to make sure that your employees are trained in the proper use of fire extinguishers so that they can effectively extinguish a fire if necessary.
Be sure to keep a record of your monthly maintenance checks so that you can demonstrate that you have done everything in your power to provide operational fire extinguishers at your business. Doing simple monthly maintenance provides you with peace of mind and will make sure your fire extinguisher is ready when you need it. When you have done all of these tasks on the check list, you know that you are doing your best to provide a safe environment for your employees and customers.