Although a common safety fixture in countless homes and commercial buildings, fire extinguishers often go unnoticed until they're needed. However, fire extinguishers require routine testing and filling to be kept in optimal working order. Various tools are necessary for the upkeep and repair needs of fire extinguishers. Always keep your extinguisher in working order with these types of tools; you never know when you might need it.
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After periods of inactivity, fire extinguisher valves may stick. Valve removers come in the form of small steel bars that remove the extinguisher's headcap for replacement. These tools also perform the task of headcap removal for refilling purposes---as such, they sometimes go by the name "recharge bars." Know the brand of your extinguisher before purchasing these tools, as valve removers manufactured by various companies are tailored for use with extinguishers from those companies.
Spring balances are small weighted scales that hook onto fire extinguishers to balance their weight for easier, more stable use. These tools are hooked on either end for mounting on extinguishers. Various suppliers manufacture these compact tools in sizes including one kilogram, two kilogram, ten kilogram and twenty kilograms, tailored to the weight of large and small fire extinguishers. Regardless of manufacturer, most spring balances are compatible with any brand of extinguisher.
Pressure Gauge Testers
Fire extinguishers lose pressure---which is essential to the discharge of its contents---over time. Conversely, the canister's seams get weaker over time if the extinguisher's pressure is too high. As such, it's important to routinely check your extinguisher's pressure. Tools known as pressure gauge testers serve this purpose. Pressure gauges are compact metal tools that lock into the fittings of fire extinguishers; these tools usually have a needle-style readout on one end. When the needle is in the green zone, the pressure is where it should be. A needle in the gauge's red zone indicates that the extinguisher needs to be replaced or repressurized. Use these tools every few years to keep your extinguisher's pressure at the proper level.
Blow Out Bags
In cases in which the dry chemical powder contained in fire extinguishers needs to be fully discharged, powder blow out bag tools provide a mess-free container for the discharge. These simple accessories---made of a durable cloth material, such as canvas---fit tightly over the extinguisher's nozzle or hose. Their bag shape holds all of the discharge, making for safe and easy disposal of the powder. Some of these tools feature hook and loop closures for emptying purposes.
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