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Care & Maintenance
Inspect fire extinguishers at least once a month (more often in severe environments).
Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for everyone’s safety.
You must ensure that:
  • The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats or other objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
  • The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers equipped with a gauge  the needle should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low.
  • The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
    • The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
    • There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and/or other signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.
  • Some manufacturers recommend shaking your dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from settling/packing. Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner's manual, extinguisher label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such testing. If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it immediately!IMPORTANT:
  • Recharge all extinguishers immediately after use regardless of how much they were used.What is the difference between a fire extinguisher inspection and fire extinguisher maintenance?INSPECTION
  • An inspection is a “quick check” to give reasonable assurance that a fire extinguisher is available, fully charged and operable. The value of an inspection lies in the frequency, regularity, and thoroughness with which it is conducted. The frequency will vary from hourly to monthly, based on the needs of the situation. Inspections should always be conducted when extinguishers are initially placed in service and thereafter at approximately 30-day intervals. MAINTENANCE
    Fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals (at least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an inspection. Maintenance is a “thorough check” of the extinguisher. It is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will operate effectively and safely. It includes a thorough examination and any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. It will normally reveal the need for hydrostatic testing of an extinguisher.Read more about the importance of fire extinguisher maintenance and what can occur in the case of non-maintenance. Also learn why, when, and how to recharge fire extinguishers.  With so many fire extinguishers to choose from, selecting the proper one for your home can be a daunting task. Everyone should have at least one fire extinguisher at home, but it's just as important to ensure you have the proper type of fire extinguisher. Fire protection experts recommend one for the kitchen, the garage and workshop.Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories, based on different types of fires. Each fire extinguisher also has a numerical rating that serves as a guide for the amount of fire the extinguisher can handle. The higher the number, the more fire-fighting power. The following is a quick guide to help choose the right type of extinguisher.
    • Class A extinguishers are for ordinary combustible materials such as paper, wood, cardboard, and most plastics. The numerical rating on these types of extinguishers indicates the amount of water it holds and the amount of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (green triangle)
    • Class B fires involve flammable or combustible liquids such as gasoline, kerosene, grease and oil. The numerical rating for class B extinguishers indicates the approximate number of square feet of fire it can extinguish. Geometric symbol (red square)
    • Class C fires involve electrical equipment, such as appliances, wiring, circuit breakers and outlets. Never use water to extinguish class C fires - the risk of electrical shock is far too great! Class C extinguishers do not have a numerical rating. The C classification means the extinguishing agent is non-conductive. Geometric symbol (blue circle)
    • Class D fire extinguishers are commonly found in a chemical laboratory. They are for fires that involve combustible metals, such as magnesium, titanium, potassium and sodium. These types of extinguishers also have no numerical rating, nor are they given a multi-purpose rating - they are designed for class D fires only. Geometric symbol (Yellow Decagon)
    • Class K fire extinguishers are for fires that involve cooking oils, trans-fats, or fats in cooking appliances and are typically found in restaurant and cafeteria kitchens. Geometric symbol (black hexagon)
  •  Some fires may involve a combination of these classifications. Your fire extinguishers should have ABC ratings on them. Location
    Location, location, location! Having a fire extinguisher is one thing, having it handy in case of an emergency, is another. It is recommended to have at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home. Also, keep them in plain sight and no more than five feet above the floor. Do not put them in closets because that will cost you valuable time when you are reaching for it. And even though a fire extinguisher may not match your décor, do not put it behind curtains or drapes. The most important places to have a fire extinguisher are in areas that are more susceptible to fire. These areas are the kitchen and the garage. Kitchen: According to U.S. Fire Administration statistics, the kitchen is the place where fires most often start. If you have a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, most grease fires can be contained. Do not put the fire extinguisher near the stove as it will be out of your reach if the fire is on the stovetop. You should not have to risk burns just to reach your extinguisher. Therefore, the best place to put the fire extinguisher is by the door of the kitchen so you have easy access to it. Garage: It is a good idea to keep a fire extinguisher here because in most homes, this is the place we use as storage. Often, leftover paints, solvents, and building materials will be piled up without a second thought. Again, the best location to mount the fire extinguisher is by the door 
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