It’s vital for your facility’s fire extinguishers to receive regular maintenance so they are fully functioning and ready to go in the event of a fire. To keep extinguishers functioning correctly, it’s essential to conduct regular maintenance and testing as required by the National Fire Protection Agency’s Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers (NFPA 10). Every six years, extinguishers should be recharged and receive routine maintenance. Every twelve years, extinguishers should have hydrostatic pressure testing conducted by certified technicians.

Six-Year Maintenance

It’s recommended that a fire protection technician fully empties and inspects your fire facility’s fire extinguisher(s) every six years. During this process, the technician will first discharge the extinguisher’s contents, ensuring that the extinguishing agent correctly expels from the unit. It is then the responsibility of the technician to properly dispose of the contents of the extinguisher and check the cylinder for any cracks or excessive wear and tear. 

Once the extinguisher’s cylinder has been cleared for continued use, the technician will refill (or recharge) the extinguisher contents. Note that if your fire extinguisher is non-rechargeable, the extinguisher will be exempt from this aspect of maintenance.

Twelve Year Testing

At twelve years, fire extinguishers will receive the same maintenance as was performed at year six, as well as having the hydrostatic pressure checked. During this fire extinguisher testing, the cylinder is fully emptied, then tested to ensure the structure can withstand between 500-600 psi. This is around 2.5 times the amount of pressure that an extinguisher will go through when in use. If the extinguisher passes, the cylinder will be recharged, tested for leaks, and deemed ready for future use. If the extinguisher fails the hydrostatic pressure test, the cylinder must be recycled/properly disposed of, and replaced with a new unit.

Dangers of Neglecting Maintenance

If fire extinguishers are not properly maintained, there is a chance that they will not discharge as needed in the event of a fire. Not having correctly functioning extinguishers puts your facility at risk for extended damage. Having your facility’s fire extinguishers regularly tested is also required for fire code compliance. Failure to keep up with these inspections can also lead to citations from your local fire department.

Fire Systems, Inc.

Fire extinguishers are often the first line of defense in fighting small fires. If your facility requires fire extinguisher testing or maintenance, consider Fire Systems, Inc. Our highly trained technicians are prepared to execute any aspect of maintaining and testing fire extinguishers.

Family-owned and operated since 1986, Fire Systems, Inc. is Atlanta’s go-to for all things fire protection. From initial design to regular maintenance, consider Fire Systems, Inc. for any of your fire protection needs. Visit our website or give us a call today at 770-333-7979.