3 Benefits of Fire Extinguisher Maintenance by Professional Install

Fire extinguishers are an integral part of any fire suppression programme, but simply buying them and pointing to where they are is not enough. They must be inspected.

You’ve probably noticed those tags with the inspection dates on fire extinguishers — clean and shiny — and no code violations requiring inspection every single year.

1. Reduces Risk of Fire

A faulty fire extinguisher is much more likely to harm your facility, employees and customers if a fire does break out. As part of the overall fire suppression plan and in many building, part of building code, the simple strategy of having your devices examined to be in good working order by professionals such as A Total Solution’s personnel makes for the easiest path to peace of mind. Knowing your fire equipment is ready in the event you need it.

They’ll give it the proverbial once-over, checking to make sure the green zone was lit on the pressure gauge, probing for dents, rust or other physical damage; making sure the safety pin had not been released and the tamper seal had not been broken. In a one-person fire-department scenario, they’d run the device to see if it had been discharged, inspect its content for what looked like use and even tampering – say, 15 seconds judiciously expended – and then weigh it. They’d cap it off with an inspection tag.

If the facility is one that needs an advanced extinguisher inspection, the inspector will remove the cylinder to ensure that the interior is free of corrosion then refill the cylinder with the appropriate agent, put the unit back together and recharge it with air. Inspectors will also perform hydrostatic testing of extinguishers at a point spaced five years apart and six year maintenance for stored pressure units and cartridge-operated extinguishers. These inspections also can be performed by NICET certified professionals, such as the ones we have at A Total  Solution. A well thought-out set of inspection protocols helps ensure compliance, reducing the chance of fines for non-compliance.

2. Saves Money

Routine inspections and maintenance serve the dual purpose of quickly spotting any issues with your fire extinguishers before a particular piece of equipment can prove to be compromised in an emergency, potentially saving you money by avoiding the cost of having an appliance recharged and perhaps replacing it. Quickly addressing issues that may be breeding causes of costly issues such as false alarms and leaking sprinklers will often help to avoid such problems in future.

As part of this basic fire extinguisher periodic inspection, the inspector looks for any signs of corrosion or other visible physical damage, makes sure that the tamper seal is still there, and checks the pressure gauge to make sure it is working. The inspector may also discharge, weigh and recharge the extinguisher, or simply check to make sure that the extinguisher is still in good working order. If the cylinder is still in good shape, of course. If a cylinder is damaged, it must be discharged, prepared, and sent in to retest at a hydrostatic test facility.

Staying on top of fire extinguisher maintenance and fire extinguisher inspections helps you also fulfill your local and national fire safety regulations, and thus alleviates the possibility of incurring millions of dollars in fines and legal liabilities due to failure to maintain required fire safety equipment. Also maintaining detailed record of inspections conducted over time reduces the response time involved when fire occurs at your place of business, and makes it extremely easy for you to find your way in the crisis.

3. Saves Lives

Among the most valuable tools for a fire emergency is a fire extinguisher. Fire extinguishers are used to put away fire by containing fire deterrant foam, water, carbon dioxide or dry chemical powder, and each is made to fight different types of fires. A business owner should have several fire extinguishers throughout the facility and ensure all the employees are aware of their location in case of emergency.

Ongoing maintenance and inspections of all fire safety equipment mean that they continue to operate as they are supposed to. Upon inspection, technicians check for signs of damage or other elements which may affect the will be working in compliance with NFPA standards. Many of our highly trained technicians at A Total Solution are also NICET certified and will look at the hoses, seals, and discharge mechanisms that need to be replaced if they are damaged.

The extinguisher can be inspected for dangerous conditions like corrosion, that is, breaking down under the influence of chemicals on its surface, or for dents that could impede the extinguisher functioning. Finally, the professional can determine whether it is time to recharge or to replace the extinguisher altogether. If it is close to its expiration date (which is found on the extinguisher itself), it should be replaced well before the end of its valid lifetime or else it will likely fail to function effectively in a time of crisis. Expired fire extinguishers will also threaten people and other property, as their corrosive residue will generally be very harmful to the environment or to nearby inhabitants. Moreover, unchecked fires will displace animal populations that live near the fire, as well as the vegetation and other properties that they rely on. The damage done to vegetation by wildfires can create even more damage to the environment, because all life requires plant life to carry out fundamental processes. Pests are another danger and can lead to further destruction. They can also contribute to climate change. The more destruction that results from fire, the more CO2 will be released from the burnt material.

Author: sonal gupta

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