To keep yourself and others safe from fire hazards, it’s important to have all of your equipment in working condition. That’s why Weber Fire offers safety inspections for your fire extinguishers, to make sure they’re compliant and up to proper standards.
It’s vital that fire extinguishers are kept in working condition. This is why routine fire extinguisher maintenance is required to keep them in ideal shape. Portable fire extinguishers require a yearly maintenance check; carbon dioxide and water-based extinguishers need a hydrostatic test every five years; stored-pressure extinguishers should be checked every six years; and a hydrostatic test should be run every 12 years on pressure and cartridge-operated extinguishers.
What do Weber Fire technicians actually do when it’s time for fire extinguisher service? While only professionals should attempt to service fire extinguishers, let’s take a look at each step of the process. First, the technician carefully inspects the fire extinguisher for damage on all sides, noting any dents, scratches, or wear that could impact the extinguisher’s function. The serial number is noted and compared to the one on record. Next, the gauge is inspected. Does the needle read in the green? Is the tank over or under-pressurized? Improper pressurization is a serious safety concern, as an under-pressurized tank may not function properly or fire at all, while an over-pressurized tank may injure the user or cause damage to itself during operation. What might cause a pressurization issue to occur? The extinguisher could have been improperly filled at the factory, erroneously or partially discharged during a previous emergency, or it could have a leak. Any deviation from 195 PSI could be a sign of trouble, and so the extinguisher must then be recharged.
Next comes the safety pull pin, which should be slotted into the appropriate position at the top of the extinguisher, affixed with a tamper-resistant plastic seal. The pin should slide in and out cleanly and not require undue or significant force to remove. Upon physical inspection, the pull pin should be straight along its length and not have any notable curvature. Once the pin has been removed for inspection, it is reinserted and a new seal is added. After verifying the integrity of the pull pin, the hose is serviced. The technician removes the hose from the tank and inspects it throughout. Is there any wear and tear on the exterior of the hose? Does it bend at extreme angles without cracking or breaking? In the interior, are there any visible blockages from discharge, detritus, or insects? The technician should forcefully blow into the hose and feel for airflow on the opposite end. If airflow is reduced or obstructed completely, the technician may attempt to remove the blockage by feeding a thin rod down the length of the hose, being careful not to damage the lining. Additionally, the head where the hose attaches to the tank should be inspected for blockages, and when reattaching the hose to the head, the technician ensures the threads are intact and screw together properly.
In the final steps of fire extinguisher service, the technician checks the bottom of the tank for the date of manufacture. As noted above, stored-pressure extinguishers should have six-year checkups, along with a hydrostatic test every twelve years. If those milestones have passed, the technician verifies on both the label and collar that these checkups took place and were recorded. Lastly, the old collar tag is removed and a new one is affixed, asserting that service has taken place.