If you are responsible for the safety of your office building, checking the fire extinguishers are a vital part of your responsibilities. If you are unsure of how to check them, look for the three things below every month to ensure they are intact and ready to use in case of a fire emergency.
Make Sure The Seals Are Intact
The first thing you should look at when inspecting the fire extinguishers are the seals around the tops of the tanks. If these become worn or broken, the contents inside of the tanks can become contaminated.
If the chemicals of the contents come into contact with air or dirt, the composition may start to break down. If a fire happens, the foam may not be able to extinguish the fire.
A broken seal can also release the pressure of the tank. If this happens, little to no foam will be able to come out when the nozzle's trigger is pushed. If you suspect the pressure has been affected, proceed to the next section.
Test The Fire Extinguisher's Pressure
If you suspect the seals have become worn out or damaged, test the fire extinguisher's pressure. On the top of the nozzle, there is a pressure gauge that indicates the optimal pressure reading. When the nozzle is triggered, the needle inside the gauge should land in that area.
However, you do not want to waste the foam by pressing the nozzle. Instead, look for a pressure test switch on or below the gauge. After pressing for a few seconds, a small amount of air is released. As it is forced through the gauge, it then gives you a reading.
Inspect The Nozzle And Tank For Damage
After testing the pressure, inspect the nozzle, tank, and other metal parts for signs of damage. The types of damage you may see include rust, chemical corrosion of the tank, and dings in the side of the tank.
If you see any damage on a fire extinguisher, it may not be able to operate properly during a fire. You may want to have a professional look at the tank to determine if it is still safe to use.
While performing your monthly check, you may find that one or more of your office's fire extinguishers are damaged. If so, you may want to contact the fire extinguisher service such as Tri County Fire Protection to have them inspect the tanks and discuss your options for either repairing or replacing the damaged ones.