Top 10 Tips for
Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

Last Updated: June 15, 2021

This article looks at the Top 10 Tips for Fire Extinguisher Maintenance 2021.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services have provided a few simple guidelines to help keep you safe and ensure your equipment is safe to use. 

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

If you are a business owner or manage business premises it is a legal requirement under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order of 2005 (RRO) to regularly maintain your fire extinguisher(s).

What should be included in a Fire extinguisher monthly inspection checklist?

In addition to annual servicing which should be carried out by a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance engineer, a monthly visual inspection is also necessary.

You should visually inspect your fire extinguishers at least once a month, in premises or environments where extinguishers may potentially be discharged or suffer damage more readily it should be done at least once a week.  The inspection should be done by a responsible/competent person ideally with some fire safety training e.g. fire marshal.

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Visibility

Check the visibility and location of the fire extinguishers, making sure that they are in a highly visible location, readily identifiable, in a convenient, easy to reach place that does not obstruct an exit, and are easily accessible during an emergency. It is also important to check the path to the fire extinguisher is kept clear and not obstructed by equipment, materials, or other items.

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Confirm

Ensure that all extinguishers are either on stands or mounted on walls, in their designated location, and have not been moved or taken out of service. Check the cleanliness and integrity of any fire extinguisher boxes or covers, so the view of the contents remains clear.

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Pressure

View the pressure gauge and verify the contents are held within the acceptable range as shown on the gauge. A needle within the green zone is good. A needle in the left red zone means that the fire extinguisher is depressurised and requires a recharge, while a needle in the right red zone signals a danger of over-pressurisation.

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Full

Lift the extinguisher to ensure it is still full and hasn’t been operated.

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Examine

Inspect the extinguisher for obvious physical damage (dents, gouges, or scratches on the body of the fire extinguisher), leakage, and/or corrosion (light rusting). Ensure any fire extinguisher stands or covers are undamaged and are free from accumulated/excessive dirt and grime.

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Check

Inspect the nozzle, hose, wand (wet chemical fire extinguishers) and, discharge horn for damage and/or obstructions.

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Locking Pin

Verify the locking pull pin is intact in between the operating lever and handle, and the tamper indicators and seals are unbroken.

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Legible Instructions

Make sure the operating instructions printed on the extinguisher are legible, clean, and facing outwards.

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Signage

Make sure that fire extinguisher signs are clearly visible and free from dirt or grime. If photoluminescent signs are used, these should be checked for their visibility in dark conditions.

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Date

Check for the inspection tag/label which should indicate that the last annual inspection was conducted within the last 12 months by a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance engineer. Record your monthly visual check and all your findings in your fire extinguisher maintenance log, noting any extinguishers that need replacing or servicing, and arrange for this to be done as soon as possible.

If any problems are noticed during the visual check, then it’s important to call an experienced engineer so they can perform a basic service to identify whether the extinguisher is still effective.

Please note that this article provides basic easy-to-understand guidance of fire safety provisions and the key fire safety information required to comply with legislation. Our articles are reviewed regularly. However, any changes made to standards or legislation following the review date will not have been considered. We aim to assist you to understand the fire-related terms within your Fire Risk Assessment.  It does not provide detailed technical guidance on all fire safety provisions, and you might require further advice or need to consult the full standards and legislation.

Fire Risk Consultancy Services have the knowledge and experience to assist your business to comply with all legal requirements surrounding fire safety including legislation. Be sure to read our accompanying guides: Fire Alarm System Types, Fire Extinguishers, Emergency Lighting, Fire Doors, Fire Safety Signs, also published on this site. 

Please take a moment to have a look around our website where you will find related articles and guides to all the services we can provide your business with, from providing Fire Risk Assessments, fire safety training, full advisory service to Articles on Fire Safety Provisions and our Top Fire Safety Tips!