Fire Extinguisher Inspection
It is recommended that you carry out a visual check of your fire extinguishers once a month. This takes very little time, can save both money and lives, and is part of the legal requirement.
The visual check can be carried out by the premises fire Marshal or Fire Warden as part of their fire safety management checks and as and reiterated in the Company Fire Risk Assessment Report.
1. Check that your fire extinguishers are correctly mounted on their proper wall hanging brackets or stands, and that access to them is unobstructed. Check that all fire extinguisher brackets are undamaged, and are secure. Check that signage is also unobstructed, so people can easily see where fire extinguishers are located in the event of an emergency. Replace any worn, peeling or damaged signage.
2. Check the pressure gauge (where one is fitted). The gauge indicator needle should be in the green zone. If it is in the red, contact a fire extinguisher service engineer and either have the fire extinguisher re pressurised, or replace it with a new fire extinguisher.
3. Check that all security tags are intact, that the safety pin is in place and secured by an anti-tamper seal or an OK indicator. Gently dust the extinguisher top to remove dust from the important valve, gauge and nozzle areas, and invest in a fire extinguisher cover if the area it is kept is particularly dusty, dirty or greasy.
4. Check the fire extinguisher cylinder for any signs of leakage, rust spots or dents. If you find any, replace the fire extinguisher immediately and safely dispose of the old one. If a fire extinguisher is badly damaged, do not move it yourself. Call in a professional fire extinguisher service engineer who will remove it safely.
5. Check the labelling remains clear and sharp to read. Some guides recommend you gently shake small powder extinguishers to prevent the contents from settling into a ‘cake’. In practice, you need to hold the unit upside down next to your ear without shaking so you can hear the loose powder gradually fall.
6. Remember to fill in the fire log book as evidence that you have carried out you inspections.