Whether you're seeking to protect a small home or a huge industrial complex, maintaining your fire suppression equipment is one of the most important safety challenges that you'll face. Your fire extinguishers are your first line of defense against fire, and making sure that they're always in their best operational shape is a vital part of doing all you can to protect your space.
Below, you'll find a guide to maintaining your fire extinguishers. These tips can assist you both in the office and at home. By following these suggestions, you can be sure that your response will be swift if you ever find yourself having to deal with a difficult emergency.
Keep Your Path Clear
Fire extinguishers are designed to be accessed easily in the event of an emergency. As such, if the path to that equipment is impeded, your extinguisher will lose a great deal of effectiveness before it even has a chance to do its job.
Make sure that you keep your fire extinguisher stored in an open space that's easy to reach. This will not only prevent you from damaging the extinguisher when trying to extract it from a tight space, but it will also discourage the buildup of dirt and dust that can adversely affect your extinguisher's firing mechanism and the quality of its chemicals.
Check for External Damage
Your extinguisher holds its fire suppression chemicals under pressure, and any damage to the structure of the tank can completely ruin the extinguisher's effectiveness. You should consistently inspect your fire extinguisher for dings and dents that may conceal hairline fractures to the device, causing it to fail entirely.
Fire extinguishers stored in some environments may also be susceptible to corrosion of the metal mechanism. If you notice any rust or similar discoloration of your extinguisher's metal, it should be replaced, as it's unlikely that the firing mechanism will be as efficient or effective as you need it to be.
Keep an Eye on the Expiration Date
The most important step in maintaining your fire extinguisher is also the simplest. The tag attached to your extinguisher will easily display the date at which the extinguisher will cease to be functional, and you should stick to those dates very strictly. An extinguisher past its expiration date is one that is likely to be depressurized and housing useless suppression chemicals, and such an extinguisher won't be able to respond to a crisis when you need it to. For more information, talk to a professional like Echo Fire Protection.