How Often Do Fire Extinguishers Need to be Inspected?

Posted August 16, 2018 by Koorsen Fire & Security


If you are responsible for a property with fire extinguishers, you probably know that regulations require regular fire extinguisher inspections. But do you know the difference between inspection and maintenance and how often each must be performed?

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Following is a brief explanation of how often your fire extinguishers need inspection:

Monthly Inspection

Every 31 days, you must do a visual inspection of your fire extinguishers. You will be checking to ensure:

  • Extinguishers are in their designated locations
  • Fire extinguishers are accessible and not blocked
  • Instruction labels on extinguishers are legible
  • All seals and tamper indicators are sound
  • No signs of corrosion, damage, leakage, or clogging

If these inspections reveal that something may be wrong, then you must immediately call a fire protection agency, like Koorsen, to come out and perform maintenance on your fire extinguisher.

Finally, you must also keep a written record of the manual inspections that records the month, year and person’s initials who inspected it.

Note: Extinguishers with electronic monitoring systems may be exempt from physical visual inspections depending on the type of extinguisher and monitoring system.

Annual Maintenance

Besides the monthly inspection which you or an appointed individual can perform, fire extinguishers must also undergo annual maintenance.

These yearly maintenance checks must be performed by a qualified technician from a professional fire protection agency, such as Koorsen, and will include examination of:

  • Extinguishing agent
  • Mechanical parts
  • Expelling means
  • Physical condition

This examination primarily involves the external portion of fire extinguishers and will be to make sure there are no signs of deterioration, tampering, leaks, broken seals, host blockages, or illegible labels.

Some types of extinguishers (such as cylinder- or cartridge-operated extinguishers) also require an annual internal examination.

Additional Maintenance

In addition to the monthly inspection and yearly maintenance examination, the following are also required:

  • 6-Year Internal Examination: Every 6-years, fire extinguishers which require a 12-year hydrostatic test must be emptied and given an internal and external examination.
  • 12-Year Hydrostatic Test: Every 12 years, most types of fire extinguishers are required to undergo hydrostatic testing, a process that tests the cylinder for any deformities or leaks.
  • Non-rechargeable fire extinguishers: If your fire extinguishers are non-rechargeable (for one-time use only), then they require neither the 6-year or 12-year maintenance procedures. Rather, they must be removed from service by no later than 12 years after their manufacture date.

Trust Koorsen With Your Fire Extinguisher Maintenance

Whether you are confident that your fire extinguishers are currently up to date with inspections and maintenance, or whether you have numerous questions and concerns about what your extinguishers need, you need a qualified and reliable team to help you manage your fire extinguishers.

Koorsen has been working in the industry since the 1940’s and has the most highly-trained team of technicians in the country. Give them a call today to schedule your fire extinguisher maintenance.

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Topics: Fire Extinguisher

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Disclaimer: The information in this article is for informational purposes only. It is believed to be reliable, but Koorsen Fire & Security assumes no responsibility or liability for any errors or omissions in the content of this article. It does not constitute professional advice. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information's accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.