Everything You Should Know About Maintaining Your Fire Extinguisher

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Have you ever considered how often you should worry with fire extinguisher recharges? Probably not. Most people assume that as long as they have a fire extinguisher on site, their home and office is protected from the danger of fire. However, in order for it to do its job, you need to plan for fire extinguisher services and a fire extinguisher recharge schedule.


If you are the fire marshal for you business, or want to ensure that your home has the optimum protection from fire, you should consider a fire extinguisher recharge immediately after any occasion that you need to use it, and along with your regularly scheduled fire extinguisher servicing. If this is the first time you’ve ever heard that you should plan for fire extinguisher recharges or fire extinguisher inspections, check out our quick guide below.


Everything You Should Know About Maintaining Your Fire Extinguisher

  • What?

    Your fire extinguisher is categorized by a letter, which represents the the combination of fire extinguishing agents within it. For example, if your fire extinguisher is labeled with an “A,” it indicates that the substances within that extinguishes fires is water-based.


    The letter associated with your particular fire extinguisher not only tells you what substances will be released when you pressed it, it also tells you how often you should have it recharged (even if you haven’t used it), and what method is used to recharge it. Start by looking up the letter that your fire extinguisher is categorized by, and then research the recharging requirements for it.
  • How?
    As the name suggests, the routine process of recharging a fire extinguisher involves removing the contents of it, which loses it’s effectiveness as it sits for long periods of time, and replacing it with the same agent. If you need to recharge your fire extinguisher because you’ve had to use it, the agent currently in it may still be good, you just need to refill the contents that you used.


    The simplest way to go about recharging your fire extinguisher is to take it to a fire extinguisher servicing company. This relieves you of the responsibility of filling it appropriately and safely, so that the fire extinguisher is in good working order afterwards. Most services like this are reasonably priced and willing to come to your home or business if you have multiple units that need to be recharged. To find such a company, you can start by contacting your local fire department. They may provide the service themselves, or will give you a referral to a business who does it.


    If you have several fire extinguishers throughout your business and want to keep up with recharging them yourself, you’ll need to get a recharging unit. A fire extinguishing recharging unit connects to an air compressor and the agent your fire extinguisher is filled with, to refill the fire extinguisher for you. It isn’t terribly complicated, but you will need to take the time to be trained on how to use it properly, since having a properly equipped, working fire extinguisher on hand in case you need it is incredibly important.

    After the fire extinguisher is recharged (whether by you or a professional recharger), you should check the gauge that reads the pressure of the fire extinguisher. This gauge should read that the contents is full. The ideal pressure for a fire extinguisher is 100 to 175 psi. The fire extinguisher itself will tell you what level it should be recharge to.


  • When?

    If your fire extinguisher is used, even the slightest amount, it is time to recharge it. This is an important step for you keeping your property, and the people within it, safe.


    When you conduct your regular fire extinguisher inspections, you will likely need to expel some of the agent, to ensure that it is working properly, and the pressure gauge reading is adequate. After making any repairs that are necessary after the inspection, the final step should be recharging it, so that it is ready for use.


    Finally, approximately once a year (or as directed by the fire extinguisher manufacturer), your fire extinguisher needs to be emptied, cleaned thoroughly, and refilled. If this isn’t something you’re comfortable doing yourself, using a professional service for it is a good idea.

Do you have questions about recharging a fire extinguisher? Please share below.

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