The goal of every homeowner is to keep their home safe. Yet, even the most cautious and safety-conscious among them cannot predict when a fire will break out. If and when it does, it is essential to have a working fire extinguisher close at hand.
The best way to ensure that your fire extinguishers are performing optimally is to inspect them every month. While homeowners and businesses can do these monthly inspections themselves, they should schedule a professional fire safety technician to check them once a year.
Here are a few tips to help keep your family and your property safe from smaller, impromptu fires:
What type of fire extinguisher is best to use around the house?
Experts generally agree that a Class B fire extinguisher will work for most household fires. You should place several of them around the property, especially where gasoline, kerosene, or denatured alcohol is stored. Keep one in the kitchen to put out grease fires, and make sure one is handy whenever you are grilling.
How can I get a professional fire extinguisher inspection near me?
Whether you are a home or business owner, fire extinguishers are a recommended, or required, piece of fire safety equipment. Although purchasing and placing them is an excellent start, you will also need to maintain them by servicing them regularly.
As mentioned, one can perform the monthly checks as a homeowner and even “in-house” at a business. However, a licensed professional should complete the annual fire extinguisher service. Some may wonder where to get fire extinguishers inspected nearby. A Google search will reveal several companies from which to choose.
What is involved in an annual fire extinguisher inspection?
During the annual inspection, the servicing professional will determine whether your extinguisher is functioning correctly by checking the following:
- Confirming that the pressure gauge is working correctly and the canister is at full pressure.
- Check that the labels are legible and correct.
- Inspect the fire extinguisher for damage. Dents, cracks, leaks, corrosion, and missing pins can reduce the effectiveness of the extinguisher.
Also, any carbon dioxide and water-based extinguishers should have a hydrostatic test every five years. Stored pressure extinguishers need an internal examination every six years. And stored-pressure and cartridge-operated extinguishers should have a hydrostatic test every 12 years.
What must I do during the monthly fire extinguisher inspection?
Professionals typically recommend the following six-step approach to check each fire extinguisher on the premises every month:
- Make sure you can get to it quickly: Rapidly responding is the key to fighting any fire. It should be visible and easily accessible. Do not allow countertop appliances, or any other items, to block the extinguisher.
- Check the inspection tag: If your fire extinguisher did not come with a tag, make one up and hang it around the neck. Keep notes, including the inspection date and the condition of the extinguisher. Each month you can review the tag date and extinguisher’s condition to ensure you are on track with your inspections and the extinguisher still looks good.
- Check the pressure: Under-charged extinguishers will not perform when you need them. Ensure that the gauge’s needle is in the green “charged” zone. If it is not, have it recharged immediately.
- Inspect the hose and pin: The hose and pin are critical components, with the hose helping to direct the chemical spray and the pin preventing an accidental discharge. Replace a cracked or brittle hose, and make sure the pin is tied to the extinguisher. If the safety tether is missing, it could indicate that the extinguisher has been used already and is not full.
- Check for physical damage: Look for dents and scratches in the gas canister to indicate the extinguisher was dropped and could have a slow leak. If you see rust between the canister and the neck, it could also be a sign of trouble.
- Update the inspection tag: Write the date of the inspection and any pertinent notes on the label.
After you’ve thoroughly reviewed the condition of the fire extinguisher, be sure to update the inspection tag with today’s date and any notes to keep an eye out for next month. That way, you’ll be able to track issues if they progress over the year.
Make sure your home is protected from fire damage
Fire extinguishers are an essential part of protecting your family and your home. White Cloud Insurance is an independent insurance agency in Miami, Florida. When you work with them to create a customized homeowners policy, you are also protecting your most valuable asset. With over 60 years of experience, we can provide coverage to protect your home and family from the unexpected.
Talk to one of our experts for advice on homeowners insurance in Florida or anywhere else, for that matter!
Simply fill out our contact form, call us at 305-556-1488, or send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.