Locally Owned and Operated Since 1958

Inspection, Maintenance, Recharge… Oh My! When to Do What?

When it comes to fire extinguisher inspection, maintenance, recharging, and testing, there is quite a lot of data to keep track of! When do you get your extinguisher inspected? How do you know when it’s time for maintenance? What is the time period for a recharge? And how often should a fire extinguisher be tested? Let’s review the Fire and Life-Safety Group’s guidelines based on standards set by the NFPA.

By Extinguisher Type

  • Dry chemical (stored pressure), dry chemical (cartridge), dry powder, and halogenated fire extinguishers should be inspected every 30 days, have maintenance performed once per year, be emptied and internally inspected for recharging every 6 years, and have hydrostatic testing performed every 12 years.
  • Carbon dioxide fire extinguishers should be inspected once per month, be maintained to ensure conductivity exists each year, be recharged every 5 years, and have hydrostatic tests every 5 years.
  • Water (stored pressure) fire extinguishers should have a monthly inspection, with maintenance and recharging annually, and a hydrostatic test every 5 years.
  • Dry chemical (stainless steel) and wet chemical fire extinguishers need inspecting once per month and maintenance once per year, with recharging and hydrostatic testing every 5 years.
  • AFFF and FFFP (liquid charge type) fire extinguishers require an inspection each month, maintenance each year, a recharge every 3 years, and hydrostatic testing every 5 years.

By Service Type

  • Inspection: All types of fire extinguishers should be inspected once every 30 days.
  • Maintenance: All types of fire extinguishers should have maintenance once per year.
  • Recharge: Water (stored pressure) fire extinguishers should be recharged once per year; AFFF and FFFP (liquid charge type) extinguishers should be recharged every 3 years; carbon dioxide, dry chemical (stainless steel), and wet chemical extinguishers require recharging every 5 years; and dry chemical (stored pressure), dry chemical (cartridge), dry powder, and halogenated fire extinguishers should be emptied and internally inspected for recharging every 6 years.
  • Hydrostatic: Carbon dioxide, water (stored pressure), dry chemical (stainless steel), wet chemical, and AFFF and FFFP (liquid charge type) extinguishers should be hydrostatically tested every 5 years; dry chemical (stored pressure), dry chemical (cartridge), dry powder, and halogenated extinguishers should receive hydrostatic testing every 12 years.

By Timetable

  • Every 30 days: All types of fire extinguishers should be inspected.
  • Every 1 year: All types of fire extinguishers should receive maintenance, and water (stored pressure) extinguishers require a recharge.
  • Every 3 years: AFFF and FFFP (liquid charge type) extinguishers require recharging.
  • Every 5 years: Carbon dioxide, dry chemical (stainless steel), and wet chemical fire extinguishers should be recharged and hydrostatically tested; water (stored pressure) and AFFF and FFFP (liquid charge type) extinguishers require hydrostatic testing.
  • Every 6 years: Dry chemical (stored pressure), dry chemical (cartridge), dry powder, and halogenated fire extinguishers should be recharged.
  • Every 12 years: Dry chemical (stored pressure), dry chemical (cartridge), dry powder, and halogenated fire extinguishers require hydrostatic testing.

Please note that the time periods indicated on this page are the maximum duration between servicing and that servicing can and should occur as often as is necessary. Contact your local fire department for more information about proper fire extinguisher inspection, maintenance, recharging, and hydrostatic testing.