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Safety Nugget Week of November 7 - Fire Extinguisher Safety< Back to Blog

Nov 08, 2016
By: G. Yepsen
Categories: Safety
If you are like me, you likely have several fire extinguishers in your home.  I have one under the kitchen sink and one in my shop.  Some people also have an extinguisher in their car/truck and boaters typically also have one on board the boat.  NFPA recommends extinguishers rated ABC (A = wood, paper, trash; B = liquids; C= electrical equipment).  These are dry powder extinguishers.
 
While there are no regulations for home fire extinguishers, it is wise to follow National Fire Protection Association guidelines.  For fire extinguishers in commercial spaces, NFPA requires:
 
Monthly inspection
  • Extinguishers are in their designated places
  • There are no obstructions to access or visibility
  • Safety seals are not broken or missing
  • There is no evidence of physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogged nozzle
  • Pressure gauge readings are in the proper range or position
  • Operating instructions are legible and facing outward
  • Fullness – confirmed by weighing or lifting 
Annual inspection
  • Extinguishers must be inspected by a licensed fire extinguisher maintenance contractor once a year
Every 6 years
  • All extinguishers also need to be serviced (emptied and refilled) and tested every 6 years and also when:
  • The fire extinguisher has been used
  • The pin has been pulled
  • The gauge is not in the green (or proper pressure area)
If your ABC fire extinguishers are no longer in the green, or have been used, your choice is to buy new ($40-60 at Lowes) or to recharge ($15-20). 
 
If you choose to recharge, first, make sure to verify if your fire extinguisher can be refilled. If a metal valve is located where the nozzle connects to the tank, it can most likely be refilled. If the valve is plastic you’ll probably have to get it replaced.
 
In Stillwater, Frontier Fire Protection, located at 1408 S Fern St, phone: (405) 624-2425, provides recharging but doesn’t like to do single extinguishers.  Organize a recharging event with your friends and neighbor and get your extinguishers charged!
 
If not in Stillwater, call your local fire department and they can advise where you can recharge.

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