You may not be aware of it, but the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) generally recommends that a fire extinguisher receive an inspection every 30 days. This inspection ensures that the extinguisher is always fully charged and operable. A checklist can help to ensure that everything is functioning and that the fire extinguisher is available when it is needed.
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In Assigned Area
Make sure that the fire extinguisher is in its assigned place. Fire extinguishers are typically located near areas where fires are the most likely to occur. If it is a portable fire extinguisher, it is typically mounted on the wall where it can be easily removed.
Not Blocked or Hidden
Check that the fire extinguisher is not hidden behind boxes or stored equipment. When storage space is at a premium, unused equipment is sometimes moved in front of fire extinguishers, making it hard to reach. Keep supplies and equipment away from the area where the fire extinguisher is, so that it remains easy to locate and access.
Recommended Pressure Level
A fire extinguisher is equipped with a gauge that indicates whether it is undercharged, fully charged or overcharged. The needle of the gauge typically sits in the middle of a green arc and this is considered a normal charge. The green arc represents a full charge and means that the fire extinguisher is ready for use. If the extinguisher does not have a full charge, call your local fire brigade about getting them to recharge it for you, or to recommend someone who does that.
Nozzles and Parts
Inspect the nozzle and other parts of the hose to make sure they are not blocked. Check the hose for cracks and holes that could affect the flow of the chemical. If there is damage, the parts of the fire extinguisher will require service.
Pin and Seal
The fire extinguisher is equipped with a pin and tamper seal. If the pin has been removed or the seal is torn, the fire extinguisher may have already been used and is possibly empty or low on chemical. Replace or have the extinguisher serviced as soon as possible to have it ready in the event it is needed.
Examine the fire extinguisher for dents, leaks or other signs of damage. Wipe off any dirt, oil or debris that may corrode the extinguisher or prevent someone from reading the label. Replace the fire extinguisher if there is evidence of damage.
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