Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Fire Code and Aged Fire Extinguishers

Our staff found several older fire extinguishers in our warehouse that have full pressure. The last date of inspection was in September 1999. Can we use them?

The short answer to this question is, “No, it’s not recommended that you use expired extinguishers in a fire situation,” says John Larkin, senior partner with Electronic Systems Consultants (ESC).

According to Larkin, per code, all dry chemical fire extinguishers must receive two (2) inspections that require the extinguishers to be fully emptied and certified, regardless if the extinguisher is showing a full charge or not.

“A dry chemical or ABC fire extinguisher requires a six year maintenance or twelve year hydrostatic test from its date of manufacture. Both procedures call for the bottles to be emptied for internal inspection and for the hydrostatic test to perform a pressure test of the bottle,” says Larkin. “All other years in between those services, a multi-point visual inspection is conducted to ensure the extinguisher is ready to be of service in cases of fire emergencies.”

For more information on the use of fire extinguishers, check out Use The Right Portable Fire Extinguisher, published on ESC's website on December 1, 2014.

Got a Question?
If you have a fire protection- or security-related question, please email it to John at: john@esc-ohio.com. Your question will appear in the ESC blog and you’ll receive an email letting you know when and where to look.

Allan B. Colombo

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