Five Questions to Ask When Inspecting a Fire Extinguisher in Your Office

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If you have a fire extinguisher in your office, you should inspect it occasionally to ensure it works. Otherwise, you may grab the fire extinguisher in an emergency situation and find out that it doesn't work, and that could be dangerous and disastrous.

Here are some questions you may want to work through to ensure your fire extinguisher is in working order.

1. Are the Seals Intact?

In many cases, fire extinguishers have seals that aren't opened until you use the fire extinguisher. If those seals are not intact, that may prevent the functioning of the extinguisher. In other cases, there may be zip ties holding elements together. Make sure all of that is intact, and make sure that the only seals or closures are the ones that come with the extinguisher. If you add zip ties or other closures, that may mess up the functioning of the extinguisher.

2. Is the Pressure at the Right Level?

Once you check the seals, you should check the pressure. Some extinguishers have gauges on them, and as long as the needle is in the right area, the gauge is correct. In other cases, there may be a button that you press to asses the pressure of the extinguisher.

3. Do You See Visible Damage?

Then, you should check the canister for visible damage. If you see corrosion, rust or even dents, that could indicate a problem, and you may want to replace the extinguisher. Also, check the hoses to make sure they are attached correctly.

4. Is the Fire Extinguisher the Right Weight?

If possible, you may want to weigh the fire extinguisher whilst inspecting it. In most cases, you can get the weight from the manufacturer. If the extinguisher doesn't weigh what it should, it may have a leak or another issue that you couldn't discern visibly. If you don't have the equipment on hand to weigh your extinguisher, you may want to hire a company that does fire extinguisher inspections. They can come to your office on a regular basis and make sure that the equipment you have is working correctly.

5. Have You Made a Record of the Inspection?

Finally, you should make a record of the inspection. Ideally, you should keep a sheet on the wall or a tag attached to the fire extinguisher for notes and the date of the inspection. Then, you can easily see which extinguishers have been inspected and which haven't.