How to Maintain Your Fire Extinguisher

April 2, 2019 12:25 am Published by Leave your thoughts

We may be a custom fireplace contractor in Seattle, WA, but working closely with fire has given us a deep appreciation for fire safety above all else. With this in mind, we recommend everyone take the time to learn about proper fire extinguisher maintenance and what you can do to make sure you have a working extinguisher on hand at all times.

The Basics

Before we get into the actual maintenance, let’s go over a few rules of thumb first. Above all else, always have a fire extinguisher located near wherever fire hazards exist. This means in your kitchen, in the living room where the fireplace is located and even outside, near your fire pit. A fire can double its size in just a few seconds if things get out of control, which means you need a solution handy right away!

Next, make sure you’ve got the right type of fire extinguisher. That’s right, there are different types! Most often, a Class A extinguisher will do the trick. Class A models are rated for combustible materials like paper and wood. However, for your kitchen you might want a Class K extinguisher, which is rated for grease and oil. Class C models, meanwhile, are fit for electrical fires.

Finally, teach yourself how to use your extinguisher! The last thing you want is a well-placed extinguisher that you don’t know how to use when the time comes!

Maintenance Tips

Once you’ve got the basics covered, here’s what you need to know about maintenance, so you’ve always got a working fire extinguisher handy:

  • Check the pressure monthly. Most extinguishers will have a gauge that tells you what the pressure is. If you notice it dropping with time or it’s at zero, have your extinguisher serviced by a professional.
  • Make sure it’s clean and free of defects. Wiping it down with a damp cloth will ensure grime and other debris are cleared away. Inspect it for dents and other deformations that may compromise it. If there’s anything major of note, it’s best to buy a new unit or ask a professional about the one you have.
  • Check the date. Most extinguishers are good for about 10 years. However, this can vary based on the type and size of the unit. If yours is older than 10 years, it’s best to buy a new one. In some cases, extinguishers can be recharged. If this is an option, it’s a cost-effective solution to restoring yours.

That’s really all there is to it! Taking basic care of your fire extinguisher will ensure you’re always protected in the event of a fire that’s out of control. For best results, try to keep a service log of every date you check on your unit and any notes about it. This is a great reminder that’ll keep you on track for proper maintenance.

Ask any custom fireplace contractor in Seattle, WA and they’ll tell you there’s nothing more important than fire safety—and it all starts with fire extinguisher maintenance!

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