Common Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Mistakes

Just because you have a fire extinguisher in your office does not mean it’ll work when needed. Heed our Miami fire extinguisher maintenance team’s warning and avoided these common mistakes.

Imagine this scenario – Marge in HR loves to burn a candle on her desk, but one day, she leaves early and forgets to blow it out. A stray ember ignites a personnel folder, and a potential emergency is in the works. Her coworker grabs the nearest fire extinguisher, pulls the pin, and squeezes the handle, only to get …nothing. 

This office has made the mistake of not properly maintaining its fire extinguishers, and what could have been a minor inconvenience has turned into a job for the fire department. Don’t be like Marge’s office! Avoid these common mistakes our Miami fire extinguisher maintenance team sees while on the job.

Mistake #1: Not Following The 75 Rule

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires that fire extinguishers in commercial buildings be distributed “for use by employees on Class A fires so that the travel distance for employees to any extinguisher is 75 feet or less.” Ensuring that an individual doesn’t have to travel beyond 75 feet to get to the nearest fire extinguisher helps to minimize response time during emergencies, facilitating a quicker and more effective response to potential fires.

Mistake #2: Not Recharging After Use

If the fire extinguisher in HR did work and was used to put out Marge’s candle fire, it can’t just go back on the wall for the next time. Every time a fire extinguisher is discharged, it needs to be recharged. If it’s not a rechargeable model, it must be inspected and refilled before returning to service.

Mistake #3: Removing The Nameplate

Pretend the nameplate on your fire extinguisher is a mattress tag, and DO NOT REMOVE! But seriously, the nameplate holds essential information that you will need throughout the life of your fire extinguisher. Without the nameplate, you may not know the following information about your fire extinguisher:

  • Serial number
  • Year of manufacture
  • Maintenance instructions
  • Safety precautions
  • Weight requirements
  • Operation instructions
  • And other crucial information

Another reason not to remove the nameplate from your fire extinguisher is that it could void the warranty.

Mistake #4: Not Keeping Them Accessible

If you follow the 75 Rule, you’re on the right track, but even if your fire extinguishers are the proper distance apart, can your employees get to them easily? Are they adequately marked so that they can be found quickly? OSHA has rules for this, too. Your fire extinguisher must be mounted, located, and have appropriate signage (if needed) so it is readily accessible to employees during an emergency. Hiding in an unmarked cabinet does not qualify as properly identified. 

Mistake #5: Not Performing Regular Inspections

Your fire extinguishers should be visually inspected every month. You may designate someone in your office for this task as it only requires an employee to look for obvious damage, like a missing nozzle or a cracked hose. If you’d rather have our skilled technicians handle this monthly inspection, we can take care of that for you.Miami fire extinguisher maintenance

Every year, your fire extinguishers should be inspected by certified Miami fire extinguisher maintenance technicians. This annual inspection aims to provide the highest level of confidence in the effective operation of your fire extinguishers. Our DynaFire team will assess whether physical damage or deterioration might impede functionality during this inspection. If repairs or replacements are needed, or if there’s a requirement for hydrostatic testing or internal servicing, we will address these accordingly.

In addition to annual inspections, every six years from the manufacture date, fire extinguishers requiring a 12-year hydrostatic test undergo a comprehensive examination following NFPA-10 guidelines. This maintenance service includes replacing all internal components and replenishing or recycling the dry chemical powder as necessary.

Mistake #6: Not Having DynaFire Perform Regular Maintenance

This mistake is easy to avoid! Contact our Miami fire extinguisher maintenance team today to evaluate your fire extinguishers and set you up on a regular inspection and maintenance schedule. We look forward to helping you and your business with your Fire & Life Safety needs!

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