ost people don’t think about their fire extinguishers once they install them, however, did you know that they can expire and that you should have a routine on when and how to check your fire extinguisher. A homeowner needs to know the condition of the fire suppressing tools Below are some helpful tips to help make sure your fire extinguisher is in proper working order.

Types of Fire Extinguishers

Quickly, lets go over the types of extinguishers available and the likely uses for each one;

Extinguishers are made to combat five types of blazes:

  • Class A: Ordinary materials, like cloth, wood or paper
  • Class B: Flammable liquids
  • Class C: Appliance, electrical
  • Class D: Metals
  • Class K: Cooking oils

There are some specialty type fire tools that use multiple classifications; AB, or ABC< or CE are some examples.


Regular Fire Extinguisher Inspection

Fire extinguishers designed for home use should regularly be checked to endure the safety of use. The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommends reading the original instructions that came with each extinguisher so that you can familiarize yourself with the extinguisher and how it works.

1. Ensure Easy Access

Make sure the extinguisher is visible and easy to retrieve.

2. Check the Pressure

Many fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge that indicates whether the device is in the proper operating range. If yours has one, check to make sure that the gauge’s needle indicates proper pressure. If the fire extinguisher has a test indicator, press it to make sure the pressure reading is within the correct range.

3. Look for Physical Damage

Check that the can, hoses and nozzles look to be in working in order. Visible signs of damage, such as dents or rust, may mean it’s time to replace the extinguisher.

Documenting your checks on the extinguisher’s inspection tag may help you keep track of its maintenance history.

4. Clean the Extinguisher

Check the outside of each extinguisher for dust, oil or grease, and clean it as necessary.

Also, keep in mind that most fire extinguishers are good for 5 to 15 years, so be sure to check the extinguisher’s label to see the most recent maintenance date. If it’s 10 or more years ago, you may want to get a new fire extinguisher.

Fire extinguishers are often an overlooked part of a home safety plan. If you have any other questions, we suggest calling your local fire department and reaching out to them.