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Learning how to read a fire extinguisher tag

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According to the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors’ report The Effectiveness of Portable Fire Extinguishers, “Time and time again, portable fire extinguishers have proven to be the most effective means of defense against fires of limited size. The National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors (NAFED) has conducted four extensive surveys since 1976 to measure the effectiveness of fire extinguishers… and the data collected during these surveys shows that portable fire extinguishers were effective in extinguishing fires 95% of the time.” A fire extinguisher can only put out a fire, however, if it is in proper working condition, which is why fire conducting a fire extinguisher inspection is vital. And, the first step is learning how to read a fire extinguisher tag.

Annual Inspections

All extinguishers should have a thorough inspection by a certified technician once each year. This examination verifies that the extinguisher is in good condition, is up to date on any necessary service (internal inspections, hydrostatic tests, etc.) and is compliant with applicable codes and standards.

     * The inspecting company’s name and contact information is listed on each inspection tag.

     * The inspecting technician’s extinguisher certification or license number is listed on each inspection tag.

     * The fire extinguisher’s chemical type is be hole-punched.

     * Validation of inspection is identified by a hole-punch under “Serviced.”

     * The month and year in which the inspection was performed will be hole-punched and valid for 1 year from the date indicated.

Monthly Inspections

The business owner or a designated representative should perform routine inspections on all of a location’s extinguishers on no less than a monthly basis. This is a quick once-over to ensure that the extinguisher looks to be in good working order and includes:

     * Verifying that the extinguisher is in its designated place, unobstructed, and mounted properly.

     * Examining the extinguisher to ensure there is no damage, or any other condition that may prevent it from working properly.

     * Checking the extinguisher’s pressure gauge to ensure it reads in the green zone and is properly charged. (Please note: CO2 type extinguishers do not have a pressure gauge.)

     * Confirming that the fire extinguisher tag is present and not showing that the extinguisher is past due for service.

     * Located on the rear of each fire extinguisher tag is a section for the date and initials of the on-site representative or business owner who performed the monthly inspection. In cases where the extinguisher tag does not have a designated space to document monthly inspections, any blank space can be used.

Telgian Fire Safety: The Fire Extinguisher Inspection Experts

Since 1985, Telgian Fire Safety has served as a trusted partner to clients around the globe, providing innovative solutions and keeping facilities safe, compliant and on budget. Telgian’s expertise includes testing, inspections and repair of Fire Extinguishers, as well as other Fire Life Safety Systems including Fire Sprinkler Systems, Fire Alarm Systems, Kitchen Hood Suppression Systems, Backflow Systems, Emergency/Exit Lights, Special Hazards, Clean Agent Systems and Fire Alarm Monitoring.

Telgian Fire Safety offers unparalleled experience. Our technicians perform inspections and tests at approximately 50,000 locations annually throughout the U.S. and Canada, including all types of fire extinguishers based on jurisdictional requirements. 

To learn more about our Telgian Fire Safety fire and life safety testing, inspections and repair services, click here or call us at 877-TELGIAN.

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