How to Maintain and Recharge a Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher is essential to have close by in the event a fire emergency breaks out. It can help stop a small fire from growing larger if you are prepared. Having fire extinguishers placed in easy to access locations on every level of your home and in common spaces like the kitchen, laundry room and garage, and knowing how to use them and when it is time to recharge are the first steps to protecting your home and family.
Using a Fire Extinguisher
Using a fire extinguisher can be intimidating. If the fire is small and contained, use the fire extinguisher to put out the fire and remember the acronym P.A.S.S. when operating one. If your exit starts becoming blocked, it is important to exit your home immediately.
P - Pull the pin
A - Aim the nozzle low at the base of the fire
S - Squeeze the trigger
S - Sweep from side to side
How Often Should Fire Extinguishers Be Inspected?
Fire extinguishers should be inspected regularly to ensure that they can perform in a fire emergency. It is recommended to perform a visual inspection of your fire extinguishers weekly to check the pressure gauge. Remove the fire extinguisher from the mounting bracket to do so. If the yellow pointer on the gauge is in the green zone, the extinguisher is properly pressurized and ready to use. If the gauge is pointing to the red zone it means that there is NOT enough pressure, and your fire extinguisher should be replaced. A professional inspection by a certified fire equipment dealer should be conducted on an annual basis to ensure that the fire extinguisher will function correctly in the event of an emergency.
When inspecting your fire extinguishers, be sure to look for signs of damage or misuse.
- Be sure that you can read all of the text and safety information on the label
- Examine the surface for any rust or corrosion
- If the extinguisher is wet or dirty, clean or dry it to help prevent corrosion
- All fire extinguishers have a safety seal or tamper indicator. Ensure that this is still intact and that the nozzle is clean and free from any obstructions
- Most fire extinguishers need to be refilled or refurbished every 5-6 years, so always check the manufacture date to confirm that it hasn’t expired
How to Recharge a Fire Extinguisher
Fire extinguishers need to be recharged after each use – even if they aren’t empty – to ensure that there will be enough pressure and suppressant liquid to properly extinguish another fire. They should also be recharged if they become damaged, or periodically throughout their lifespan. Your fire extinguishers should only be recharged by a certified fire equipment dealer or fire protection company. Once a year, a certified fire equipment dealer, in accordance with the service manual identified on the fire extinguisher label, should service the fire extinguisher. You can contact your local fire department to find out where you can have them recharged properly if you aren’t sure.
First Alert Fire Extinguishers
At First Alert, we carry different types of fire extinguishers including both residential fire extinguishers and commercial extinguishers. From small kitchen or garage models to large, heavy duty commercial models, we can provide you with the right protection to handle small fires. Equip and protect your home or business by purchasing a First Alert fire extinguisher online today and make sure that you are maintaining and recharging them as needed.