According to a study made by National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), more than 55% of household fires remain confined in the area of their inception. However, the fires that do let loose are potentially dangerous and can even be fatal. Therefore, it is crucial that you have a fire extinguisher at home and more importantly know where you put it.
The fire extinguisher should be in an accessible location so that in case a fire breaks out, you can grab the fire extinguisher before the fire gets out of hand. Having a portable fire extinguisher is a necessity; sadly people usually realize its importance when they need it, and it is not accessible.
However, keeping a fire extinguisher is not the only thing you are required to do for the safety of yourself and your family. In fact, many a time the fire extinguisher at your home is of no use due to lack of maintenance and proper storage.
Maintenanceof a fire extinguisher
You can either hire a fire extinguisher servicing company or do it yourself. Following are the main steps you need to keep it in top working order, always.
One cannot stress the necessity of the ease of accessibility of a fire extinguisher enough. Many people do have fire extinguishers at their homes but either they forget where they placed it or they placed it in a storage that is difficult to get to. In both cases, the fire extinguisher will be of no use because at times of need, you will not have the fire extinguisher.
Therefore, you need to regularly check if the fire extinguisher is easily and quickly accessible. Make sure there is no blockage in the way of your fire extinguisher. All family members should know where it is kept. You should keep the fire extinguisher visible at all times, and its label should be set outwards.
Inspecting the Seals
You need to make sure that the seals of the fire extinguisher are intact and there is no leakage. The fire extinguisher has tamper and safety seals which need to be checked on a regular basis.
The pressure of the Fire Extinguisher
The pressure of the fire extinguisher is crucial. You will need to keep the pressure of the extinguisher in check. Normally, a fire extinguisher will have a pressure gauge. Make sure the needle of the gauge is at the optimum temperature. However, some extinguishers have test indicators in which case, you need to make sure the pressure reading falls in the optimum range.
You need your fire extinguisher to be at its optimum condition at all times because you never know when you’ll need it! Therefore, regularly check for signs of damage. The signs can be either of leakage or corrosion. A clogged nozzle can also come in the way of proper functioning of the fire extinguisher. In case you see any one of these signs, you should replace the fire extinguisher or get it fixed by a professional fire extinguisher servicing company.
Last but not the least, proper and regular documentation of the maintenance of your fire extinguisher is crucial. It lets you know when the last time you did the maintenance and when the next maintenance should be done. Some fire extinguishers even have an inspection tag for it.
How often the inspection and maintenance of the extinguisher are required depends upon its manufacturing. Usually, a fire extinguisher should be checked at least once a year. However, some fire extinguishers come with an inspection tag which lets the user know when the maintenance should be done.