A Quick Reference Guide to Fire Extinguisher Maintenance and Use

Christopher Moye
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While there is always a risk of residential fires, most of us don’t think about fire extinguishers until we need one, and need to use it. That can be a big problem because having a fire extinguisher is not enough. It must be in good working order and you must know how to use it properly if a fire emergency arises.

Below are some important and helpful tips on proper fire extinguisher maintenance and use.

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Tips

Even if your fire extinguishers are up-to-date and non-expired, the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA)  recommends having your fire extinguisher checked monthly to make sure they are ready for use. This can be done by fire officials, or those certified in fire extinguisher inspection, a service offered by Guardian

The NFPA also suggests fire extinguisher owners follow these steps in performing their own regular inspections between professional inspections.

  1. Ensure the extinguisher is accessible, visible, and in an assigned spot.
  2. Check the pull pin to ensure it is in place and secure.
  3. Inspect the tamper and safety seals for cracks, rot, or tampering.
  4. Check the pressure and verify it is within the correct range.
  5. Look over the entire extinguisher for visible damage such as corrosion, clogged nozzle, leakage or anything that could impair its effectiveness.
  6. Make sure the instructions for use are visible.
  7. Document your inspections.This will encourage you to perform regular checks and remind you when it is time for a professional fire extinguisher inspection.

Tips for Fire Extinguisher Use

In an emergency, it is easy to forget simple things that you do not do often, or have never had a reason to do until it is an emergency. But the things we commit to memory will come to mind  even in a crisis situation. That is why we recommend the PASS Method.

P— Pull the Pin. Hold the extinguisher with the nozzle pointing away from your body and release the lock.

A— Aim low, pointing the extinguisher at the base of the fire, while staying six to eight feet away from the flames.

S— Squeeze the handle slow and evenly.

S— Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

Fire extinguishers are an often overlooked part of home safety. Make sure you get it inspected, do your checks, and know how to use it.

About Guardian Security Systems, Inc.

For over 40 years, Guardian Security has been at the forefront of custom commercial security, fire, and communication systems integration in Washington State. Contact us today to learn more.