Fire hazards are everywhere.  Whether it is your home or business, you can never fully be safe from a fire.  The perfect fire safety plan always includes a fire extinguisher.  These devices vary in size depending on its type, and may be relatively compact, fit in generally small spaces and are excellent tools to ensure your loved ones, employees, and property remain safe from the devastating effects of an out of control fire.  Of course, the tools, like most other tools, need to be used properly and maintained according to manufacturer’s advice in order to obtain optimal benefits.  Knowing whether to recharge or replace your fire extinguisher is vital to the tool’s usefulness.

Understanding Your Fire Extinguisher

There are several different types of fire extinguishers.  Understanding what types of extinguishers are on the market and verifying your fire extinguisher is the right tool for your location is crucial to your fire management plan.   The variety of fire extinguishers exist because different chemicals work with different types of fire.  For example, most law firms would not need a Type K fire extinguisher which excels at putting out grease fires. Understanding which extinguisher type you have and knowing the components of the extinguisher are the first steps in determining whether to recharge or replace your fire extinguisher.

When Your Fire Extinguisher Should Be Recharged

The chemicals inside your fire Extinguisher lose their effectiveness over time.  Knowing which fire extinguisher you have and what  chemicals  are inside will determine how long the fire extinguisher will remain effective.   Once the optimal Effectiveness time has passed, it is strongly recommended that the fire extinguisher be recharged to ensure its ability to perform in the event of a fire hazard.

Should you experience a fire emergency that requires the use of a fire extinguisher, you should immediately schedule an appointment to have that fire extinguisher recharged.   If that is the only fire extinguisher on your premises you are putting yourself and your property at risk as you will no longer have a properly functioning fire extinguisher on hand should another fire outbreak occur.

The chemicals inside the fire extinguisher are under pressure.   The release of any pressure inside the fire extinguisher drastically reduces the extinguisher’s effectiveness.   In order to ensure your fire extinguisher is going to work optimally in an emergency situation when you will need it, it is vital that the  fire controlling chemicals inside  the fire extinguisher are held under the proper amount of pressure.  Should any release of the pressure occur, it is imperative to get that fire extinguisher recharged.  A properly functioning fire extinguisher can save lives in a fire emergency.

When Your Fire Extinguisher Should Be Replaced

No single fire extinguisher is going to last forever.   Much like human beings, they have a lifespan.  Yes, there really is a fire extinguisher lifespan!  While the average fire extinguisher generally has a lifespan of between 6 to 12 years, your fire extinguisher will be marked to show when it should be replaced.  This information is usually found on the cylinder body of the extinguisher itself or on the extinguisher’s identification tag.

Besides an aged out fire extinguisher, fire extinguishers should be replaced if there was any damage evident on the extinguisher itself. Examples of damage to be on the lookout for include issues with the handle, including a loose handle or missing pin, any sort of visible resting or corrosion of any portion of the fire extinguisher, and any cracks or holes end the extinguisher’s hose.  If your fire extinguisher shows evidence of any of these issues, your extinguisher should be replaced immediately.   any of the above outlined issues with your fire extinguisher may render it ineffective in the event of a fire emergency.

Finally, your fire extinguisher should be replaced if the identification inspection tag is missing.   Fire extinguishers are required to be inspected annually to ensure effectiveness as people’s lives rely on these tools. These tags are essentially service tags the inform inspectors about the life of the fire extinguisher, including its maintenance record of any flaws or issues the fire extinguisher may have had in the past.

While fire extinguisher inspections may seem like a pain, they ensure that your first line of defense against a fire is an optimal working order.  Your life, the life of your loved ones, and the lives of your employees rely on your smart decision making when it comes to fire suppression systems.  Proper maintenance on all aspects of your fire suppression system, including fire extinguishers, is vital to ensuring your property is protected from the devastating effects of fire.   No one is immune to fire hazards,  but there are many ways to limit its damaging effects.   Contracting with a reputable company to put in place a fire suppression plan and fire maintenance plan for your home and Business is a smart first step and protecting lives and property.  A Total Solution has been working with home and business hours for decades in the Tampa Bay area to provide fire suppression plans that will work within any budgetary constraints.   Being able to rely on a reputable company to ensure your fire safety needs are being met continually and without Interruption provides peace of mind. It allows you to focus your time on building your business and spending time with loved ones instead of worrying about fire.

Contact ATS today for a free consultation concerning your fire suppression needs, including fire extinguisher inspections, fire extinguisher recharging, and other fire suppression maintenance requirements.