How Often Does a Fire Extinguisher Need to be Inspected?

February 14 Fire Safety

Knowing how often a fire extinguisher needs to be inspected can help you ensure that your fire extinguisher will be in optimal working condition in the event of a fire. At EFAS, we understand how important it is to have your fire extinguishers properly inspected and maintained. That is why we offer a range of mobile safety services, including fire protection services.

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Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Depending on the type of fire extinguisher inspection being performed, there are different recommendations and requirements for the time between inspections. The different ways in which a fire extinguisher should be inspected and the schedule for each is as follows:

Visual Fire Extinguisher Inspections

Once a month, business owners will need to perform a visual inspection of the portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. When visually inspecting a fire extinguisher, business owners should:

  • Look for any signs of physical damage, such as leaks, dents, or corrosion
  • Check the pressure gauge to ensure that the indicator is in the operating range
  • Check to make sure the pull-pin seal is still intact
  • Verify the date of the last professional inspection
  • Initial and date the back of the tag to mark the monthly visual inspection

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Inspections

Fire extinguisher maintenance inspections should be performed on an annual basis by a professional fire protection company that has the proper tools and training to ensure the fire extinguisher is code compliant, as well as to correct any potentially hazardous situations. Fire extinguishers that pass their annual inspection are verified with a date inspection tag, which is good for one year from the date indicated. Fire extinguishers that fail the inspection will need to be either repaired or replaced.

Fire Extinguisher Internal Maintenance Inspections

Similar to maintenance inspections, internal maintenance inspections for fire extinguishers should be performed by a professional fire protection company every 5, 6, or 12 years, depending on the type of fire extinguisher. Fire extinguisher internal maintenance inspections involve discharging the fire extinguisher and performing a complete internal examination and recharge to make sure all components of the fire extinguisher are in optimal working condition. Periodically, fire extinguisher cylinders will also need to be hydrostatically tested, which requires the fire extinguisher to be emptied, placed under water, and subjected to pressures exceeding its ratings. Fire extinguishers that fail this test will be destroyed, while the ones that pass will be reassembled, recharged, and placed back into service.

If you would like to learn more about how often a fire extinguisher needs to be inspected, or if you are interested in our fire protection services, please contact EFAS at 604-294-EFAS or by filling out a contact form on our website.