FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How do I perform a monthly
fire extinguisher inspection?
MONTHLY FIRE EXTINGUISHER INSPECTION
PER NFPA 10
Standard For Portable Fire Extinguishers
An inspection is defined as a quick check that a fire extinguisher is
available and will operate. It is intended to give reasonable assurance that the
fire extinguisher is fully charged and operable. This is done by verifying that
it is in it’s designated place, that it has not been actuated or tampered with,
and that there is no obvious or physical damage or condition to prevent its
The procedure for inspection and maintenance of fire extinguishers
varies considerably. Minimal knowledge is necessary to perform a monthly quick
check or inspection in order to follow the inspection procedure. A trained
person who has undergone the instructions necessary to reliably perform
maintenance and has the manufacturer’s service manual shall service the fire
extinguishers not more than 1 year apart.
Fire extinguishers shall be inspected when initially placed in service and
thereafter at approximately 30-day intervals. Fire extinguishers shall be
inspected at more frequent intervals when circumstances require.
- Location in designated place
- No obstruction to access or visibility
- Operating instructions on nameplate legible and facing outward
- Safety seals and tamper indicators not broken or missing
- Fullness determined by weighing or “hefting”
- Examination for obvious physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogged nozzle
- Pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operable range or position
- Condition of tires, wheels, carriage, hose and nozzle checked (wheeled units)
- H.M.I.S. (hazardous material identification system) label in place
When an inspection of any fire extinguisher reveals a deficiency in any of the
conditions listed above (a, b, h, i), immediate corrective action shall be taken.
Rechargeable fire extinguishers:
When an inspection of any rechargeable fire extinguisher reveals a deficiency in
any of the conditions listed above (c, d, e, f, g), it shall be subjected to
applicable maintenance procedures.
Non-rechargeable dry chemical fire extinguishers: When an
inspection of any non-rechargeable dry chemical fire extinguisher reveals a
deficiency in any of the conditions listed above (c, e, f, g), it shall be removed
from service, discharged, and destroyed at the direction of the owner or
returned to the manufacturer.
Non-rechargeable Halon agent fire extinguisher:
When an inspection of any non-rechargeable fire extinguisher containing a halon
agent reveals a deficiency in any of the conditions listed above (c, e, f, g), it
shall be removed from service, not discharged, and returned to the manufacturer.
If the fire extinguisher is not returned to the manufacturer, it shall be
returned to a fire equipment dealer or distributor to permit recovery of the halon.
Personnel making inspections shall keep records of all fire extinguishers
inspected, including those found to require corrective action. At least monthly,
the date the inspection was performed and the initials of the person performing
the inspection shall be recorded. Records shall be kept on a tag or label
attached to the fire extinguisher, on an inspection checklist maintained on
file, or in an electronic system that provides a permanent record.
NOTE: Kennebec Fire Equipment is able to service most units containing Halon
1211. However units containing Halon 1301 or Halonite
(Mixture) must be returned to the manufacturer for proper service or disposal.
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