Checklist for fire extinguishers

Written by julie durr
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Checklist for fire extinguishers
Use a checklist to keep fire extinguishers in good working order. (fire extinguisher image by Chris Roselli from

Fire extinguishers for in-home use generally are of the ABC type and good for paper, liquid and electrical fires. These are good multipurpose fire extinguishers, but they need to be checked regularly to ensure that they will function properly when needed. A checklist helps to document the important things to consider when inspecting a fire extinguisher.

Pressure Gauge

Examine the pressure gauge to determine whether the pressure of the fire extinguisher is at the recommended level. The pressure gauge on a typical home use fire extinguisher has two readings: full or empty. On a Kidde Multipurpose Dry Chemical Fire Extinguisher, the empty setting is coded red and the full setting is green. If the indicator gauge is in the red or empty section, the fire extinguisher should be recharged or replaced.

Information Tag

Look for the attached information tag, which includes the date of purchase and a place to log maintenance dates. Inspections should be carried out at least annually, but preferably on a monthly basis.The tag should list the type of extinguisher and a UL approval stamp. Other information on the tag may include the model and serial numbers of the extinguisher, recharge contact information, manufacturer name and address.

Instructions and Pictographs

Make sure that instructions and pictographs are clearly visible and readable. The pictographs will show how to correctly use the extinguisher and what types of fires it will be effective for. For example, on a Kidde ABC fire extinguisher, the pictographs illustrate that the extinguisher is good for trash, wood, paper, liquids and electrical fires.


Inspect the fire extinguisher for damage. Confirm that the extinguisher is not rusty, that the locking pin is intact and that the tamper seal is unbroken. The nozzle should have no visible clogs, and labels should be readable and present. Examine for evidence of leaking, corrosion and rust.

Easy access

Station fire extinguishers in unobstructed locations. They should not be covered up or stowed in closets. In the kitchen, place a fire extinguisher near the entrance and not near a stove.


Fire Extinguisher: 101 recommends locating a fire extinguisher on every level of a home. Kitchens and garages, in particular, should be equipped with fire extinguishers.

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