Fire extinguishers are arguably one of the most important pieces of fire safety equipment – and they are frequently ignored. Just like every other part of a fire protection system, fire extinguishers must be maintained, fixed, and replaced when necessary. Otherwise, you could be putting your employees and property at risk in the event of a fire.
So, how long do fire extinguishers actually last? There are many factors that can lead to an extinguisher breaking or becoming defective, including:
- Dirt and Dust – Nozzles and gauges of the extinguisher may clog or malfunction should too much dirt and dust accumulate.
- Vibrations – Excessive vibration levels in areas where heavy machinery or vehicles are commonly used can cause damage. The vibrations actually loosen the components of the extinguisher, which can actually result in breaks or leaks.
- Age – Over time, fire extinguishers may lose their charge, hoses and nozzles could become unusable, and the overall effectiveness of the extinguisher will diminish. A good lifespan for an extinguisher is in the range of 5 to 15 years. This is an important thing to remember for those purchasing a new property, as you have no way to know how old the fire protection equipment is.
- Moisture and Rust – Damp, humid environments (aka Florida) can lead to premature rusting. This can cause important extinguisher components to break or lockup so that the nozzles and triggers do not work.
- Pressure Gauge – Check the pressure gauge of your fire extinguisher regularly. The gauge needle should always be pointing to the green area. If it isn’t in the green, the extinguisher may not properly function or won’t function at all.
- Bad Quality – You could be at risk for having a device that will not function properly if you do not purchase one that is made from quality materials that are certified by NFPA Standards.
Fire extinguishers are incredibly for the safety of your employees and property. Should an emergency occur, you need to know that you can count on your extinguisher. At A Total Solution, Inc., we offer fire extinguisher installation, maintenance, inspections, repairs, and even emergency services. Contact our fire safety experts to learn more about fire protection and fire extinguishers today!