page is intended to provide individuals with general information
pertaining to inspecting and maintaining a fire extinguisher.
Inspect fire extinguishers
at least once a month (more often in severe environments).
Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for everyone’s
You must ensure that:
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 (such
as that shown on the right), 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.
recommend shaking your dry chemical extinguishers once a month to prevent
the powder from settling/packing.
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!
all extinguishers immediately after use regardless of how much they were
What is the difference
between a fire extinguisher inspection and fire extinguisher maintenance?
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
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.