Fires can be caused due to multiple reasons such as faulty wiring systems, overheating appliances, unattended candles, careless smoking etc. If you have proper safety equipment to contain the fire, you can minimize the damage caused by it. One of the most important equipment used in fire safety is a fire extinguisher. A fire extinguisher is a pretty handy equipment which is used for extinguishing a fire. There are different types of fire extinguishers but a dry chemical fire extinguisher is the most commonly used type of fire extinguisher. It is commonly found in homes, offices and other places that are prone to fire hazards.
A fire extinguisher is an important equipment and it must be ready to use at all the times as a fire can happen at any time. A faulty fire extinguisher which doesn’t work properly during a fire breakout is a liability and can cause damage, therefore, it is important to keep it up and running all the times.
How Frequently You Should Refill a Fire Extinguisher?
As per the rules, fire extinguishers must be refilled even if you haven’t used it or used it just for one time. NO matter how small amount has been used, the extinguisher must be refilled so that it can be used for extinguishing fire next time. The refilling or recharging process of a fire extinguisher involves refilling it with the fire extinguishing agent. In some cases refilling also means emptying the remaining agent and filling it again. If you have a number of fire extinguishers at your home or workplace then it is cost effective to purchase a refilling kit. With proper training, an air compressor and some other equipment you can refill the extinguisher easily. However, it is better to seek professional help if you have just one or two extinguishers.
After refilling extinguishers, ensure that the pressure gauge shows proper reading and the needle showing the pressure is in the green area. Also, it is important to check extinguishers for corrosion as it can lead to the leakage of fire suppressing agent and depressurizing could also occur. If your fire extinguisher does not have the adequate pressure, it would not be able to put out the fire and would not help in the case of an accidental fire.
Fire extinguishers should be checked on a monthly basis on the following parameters:
- Pressure gauge needle must be in the green area.
- Ensure that there is no corrosion or rusting on the extinguisher.
- The nozzle and hose of the extinguisher must not have cracks and rips.
- Make sure that the locking pin and seal are in the right position.
What does one do with an expired fire extinguisher?
Some fire extinguishers are for single use while others are rechargeable. It is important that we must dispose of an expired fire extinguisher properly as extinguishers have chemicals and fire-suppressing agents which when disposed of along with the common household waste could prove fatal. To dispose of an expired fire extinguisher, call your nearest fire safety department or sanitation services. They would help you in properly disposing of expired fire extinguishers in a manner where it is not harmful. These extinguishers are then recycled appropriately by the experts.