If a fire breaks out in your home or commercial space, fire extinguishers are your first defense to save your property from disaster.
More importantly, as essential fire protection devices, they could protect the people inside of your property from a life-threatening fire.
However, not many extinguisher owners are aware that they need regular inspection and maintenance as they can deteriorate over time.
Don’t wait for a fire to start to think about checking your extinguishers!
Here are 5 preventive tips to keep extinguishers well-maintained, and ready in case of an emergency which will help you avoid a costly fire extinguisher repair.
Problem: Portable Fire Extinguishers Not Working After One Use
If you have a portable fire extinguisher that was recently used, chances are it might not work at all the next time you need it.
There are two reasons why this happens:
You’ve already discharged the extinguishing agents, or
Your portable extinguishers may have difficulty maintaining pressure at half-capacity, causing them to leak.
Right after one use, take your fire extinguishers to a fire protection specialist for a recharge.
You can also sign up for regular fire extinguisher services, which include repair and maintenance of your portable fire extinguishers.
Problem: A Dented Fire Extinguisher Needs Repair
Fire extinguishers may look tough and durable on the outside, but an accidental drop can cause them to malfunction.
Delicate parts, like the valve assembly, breaks easily with accidental damage.
Solution: Proper Storage
Always store your fire extinguishers in a safe, accessible place. Make sure they are located where they won’t be bumped or knocked over.
In addition, schedule a regular fire extinguisher inspection to check if your device has any loose pieces or critical dents.
Problem: Hose Is Blocked or Has Worn Out
The hose needs to be free from any blockages to allow the extinguishing agents to pass from the tank to the flames.
However, without proper extinguisher inspections and maintenance, the hose can accumulate
debris or its material can wear out over time.
Mishandling your extinguishers, such as subjecting them to extreme weather, can also cause break down in the hose and other vital parts.
Solution: Proper Temperature
Avoid subjecting your extinguishers to extreme temperatures. Cold weather can make the hose brittle and susceptible to tears.
A fire extinguisher relies heavily on its internal pressure to function properly. Any changes in pressure can result in a leak.
Leaks can also happen even if you’ve never used your extinguisher as its pressure changes over time.
Solution: Keeping The Right Pressure
Keep an eye on the pressure gauge of your fire extinguisher. The needle should stay steady in the green zone.
If it does fall below this zone, you should schedule service with a fire protection company as soon as possible so that they can recharge your device and address other issues.
Problem: Metal Starts To Corrode
When a fire extinguisher is exposed to high moisture, it’s metallic components can start to corrode.
Corrosion is especially critical when it occurs on vulnerable parts like metal levers or valves.
When this happens, your fire extinguishers won’t work properly in the case of an emergency.
Corrosion can also cause the tank to rupture when activated, which poses an extreme risk to the individual operating the device.
Solution: Low-Moisture Spaces
Ensure that your extinguishers are stored in a dry, low-moisture space.
If you have a few located outside, make sure they’re protected from weather changes, especially rain or snow.
Save Yourself The Hassle With A Regular Fire Extinguisher Service
Just like any device, fire extinguishers are prone to wear and tear over time.
However, as critical fire safety equipment, you shouldn’t wait for an emergency to happen before you get your devices properly working.
The number one way to prevent fire extinguisher failure is through regular inspections, recharge, and repairs with your trusted fire protection company.
Have you scheduled your next service? Let us know in the comments below how you’re keeping your fire extinguishers and protection systems in check!