FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Where can I have my fire extinguisher recharged?
When Its time to have a fire
extinguisher re-charged, you should always take it to an experienced fire extinguisher service company. Some
extinguishers are manufactured as "non-rechargeable". These units are generally
marked clearly as such, in a couple of ways. One tip is to look inside the face
of the pressure gauge, if one is present. Non-rechargeable units are usually
marked "dispose after any use". Some extinguishers have a small pressure switch
located on the top of the valve body. Simply press down gently on the switch to
check the unit. If the switch pops back firmly into place, it indicates pressure
within the unit.
Rechargeable fire extinguishers also require periodic testing, depending on the
type of extinguisher. Every fire extinguisher requires a hydrostatic retest every 5 or 12 years, again depending upon the type of unit. ABC dry chemical
fire extinguishers require a retest every twelve years from the manufacturing date. Another test, called a six year maintenance is also required on these
units between retest intervals. It is unlawful to recharge an extinguisher without first performing any required testing.
A good company will have access to extinguishing agents and replacement parts
for most common brands and types in-service. Fire extinguishers are generally considered obsolete and must be removed from service when replacement parts
become unavailable. At Kennebec Fire Equipment Inc., we stock a variety of parts and agents, offering testing and recharging on most rechargeable types and
brands of extinguishers.
And remember as NFPA 10 tells us, "All rechargeable-type fire extinguishers shall be recharged after any use or as
indicated by an inspection or when performing maintenance." (In addition to that, failure to recharge a unit after even the slightest use, will most likely
lead to a failure to operate properly during any subsequent attempt at re-use).
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