Fire Extinguisher Maintenance and Use

Fire extinguishers are an amazing tool for putting out small fires before they have a chance to grow and spread. According to the NFPA, people used fire extinguishers to put out a whopping 5.32 million fires in 2010.

When was the last time you inspected your fire extinguishers? Did you know that fire extinguishers must be inspected annually? Regular maintenance and inspections keep your extinguishers in working condition so that they’re always ready in an emergency.


Fire extinguisher maintenance

Oklahoma has adopted and operated under the International Fire Code for many years. According to section 901.6 of the IFC, “fire detection, alarm and extinguishing systems shall be maintained in an operative condition at all times, and shall be replaced or repaired where defective.”

In an emergency, you need to be able to rely upon an extinguisher. Yearly maintenance ensures that your fire protection equipment is in working order. During an inspection, a fire service professional should visually examine the cylinder for dings, dents, rust, and proper internal pressure.

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In addition to annual inspections, the National Fire Protection Association has dictated that businesses have their fire extinguisher cylinders hydrostatically inspected every 12 years. During a hydrostatic inspection, a fire professional will use water to test the internal pressure of the cylinder. If it cannot maintain the proper pressure, it indicates that there is a leak and that the cylinder is no longer suitable for use.

Do you have trouble remembering to schedule your annual fire system inspection? Falling behind could land you in hot water with the Fire Marshal and put your employees and property at risk. When you partner with FPS Technologies for your annual inspections, we’ll send you automatic service reminders when your inspection is due. We also provide your six-year internal inspections and 12-year hydrostatic inspections.

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Proper fire extinguisher use

In addition to providing fire extinguishers of the correct class in the correct locations, employers should also provide employee training on how to use them. Your employees may end up being the first line of defense to extinguish a fire or keep it under control until professional firefighting personnel reach your property.

The NFPA uses a helpful acronym to help you and your employees remember how to operate a fire extinguisher correctly: PASS

  • Pull the pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from you and release the locking mechanism.
  • Aim low. Point the extinguisher at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the lever slowly and evenly.
  • Sweep the nozzle from side-to-side.

Fire extinguishers are reasonably intuitive to operate, but training new employees and providing an annual refresher for your entire workforce increases the chances that they will be able to address a fire safely and correctly.

Are you interested in having a fire protection professional provide in-depth training on office fire safety? If so, get in touch with FPS Technologies to schedule a training for your staff with one of our fire service professionals.


Choose FPS Technologies for your maintenance and training

No matter your fire service needs, you’ll find a partner in FPS. We provide comprehensive fire protection services and training from fire extinguishers to fire pumps and sprinkler systems. Get in touch today to learn more about how you can protect your building against fires.