Once you have bought a fire extinguisher and ensured that your premises meet fire safety standards, you might forget about regularly checking your extinguisher. Unfortunately, fire extinguishers do eventually expire, meaning you need to keep an eye on them and have a professional check them at regular intervals.
Ensuring that your fire extinguishers are in full working order is of the utmost importance, and knowing how long they last is pivotal in this. Generally, fire extinguishers last between 5 and 15 years, according to manufacturers, though this can vary depending on the circumstances.
In this month’s article, we’ll be running you through how long fire extinguishers last and the kinds of things that can decrease their functionality and shelf-life.
Knowing How Old Your Fire Extinguisher Is
Most people don’t know how old their fire extinguisher is, so knowing if it is coming to the end of its life cycle can prove impossible. When you acquire a new fire extinguisher, be sure to keep a note of the date you got it and store this safely with all of the fire safety documentation for your premises. Otherwise, it pays to have your fire extinguisher serviced by a professional.
When to Service or Replace Your Fire Extinguisher
There are some key markers that highlight when you should have your fire extinguisher serviced or replaced and it is wise to be familiar with them. You should service or replace your fire extinguisher if:
- You have used the fire extinguisher;
- The locking pin in the handle has been removed or is loose;
- The handle itself is loose or damaged;
- The maintenance and checkup sticker, a list of inspections, is missing;
- Or if the nozzle or hose is blocked, cracked or ripped in any way.
Once your fire extinguisher reaches a certain age, it will be nearing the end of its shelf life and will need more frequent servicing. Businesses in particular have a legal obligation to ensure fire extinguishers are properly maintained and serviced.
If your fire extinguisher is over 10 years old, you should have it serviced on a regular basis – annually, for instance – to ensure that it is fully functional. In doing so, you will also be meeting your legal obligations regarding fire safety.
Checking the Gauge
If your fire extinguisher is a newer model, it may have a gauge on it that you can use to see if it is still functional or not. Checking this once a month to check that the dial is in the green zone, and therefore functional, is a great way to maintain your fire extinguishers in addition to a regular service by a professional.
At Protect & Detect, we offer a range of services to ensure your property or business meets all fire safety regulations, including a comprehensive installation and safety check on fire extinguishers and fire detection devices in a variety of business fields. For more information on our services, contact our team today.