FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS


Are all fire extinguishers created equal? 
No. Although most units on the market appear the same visually, there are differences.  Variables from the overall quality of the unit to the cost for future replacement parts should be considered.  Higher quality units often carry a higher rating, which essentially means they are rated to extinguisher more fire. 

Why do I need a fire extinguisher?
Not only are fire extinguishers required, but they’re also proven to be highly effective in extinguishing fires when used properly and when using properly maintained fire extinguishers. 

How do I tell the age of my portable fire extinguisher?
All fire extinguishers include a “Born On” date for easy reference. On most units, the date is usually found on the label while some manufacturers stamp the date in the boot located on the extinguisher’s base. CO2 type extinguishers have the date stamped around the shoulder near the top.

Is my fire extinguisher worth filling, or just buy a new one?
Most fire extinguishers are made to be recharged and maintained. Unless the unit is damaged, it is normally more economical to repair the unit than to replace it. There is no charge for us to evaluate your fire extinguisher to determine what it necessary to return it to service. We will also provide an accurate quote for the cost of the necessary repairs or recharging.

After a minor fire with little use, do I have to get the extinguisher recharged?
Yes, you must have your fire extinguisher recharged even after minimal usage. Even though the unit feels heavy and/or is registering pressure on the gauge, the extinguisher may not have sufficient pressure for it’s next use. The unit should also be checked for powder clogging the discharge hose, incorrect valve seating or damage to the unit.

My business never gets inspected, why should I have my fire extinguishers maintained and repaired?
Regardless of what agency requires the specific inspection and maintenance on fire extinguishers, remember that these requirements exist to ensure the equipment will work properly when used.  Even if your business never gets an inspection, your fire extinguishers should still be maintained.  This will ensure they work properly if you do need them.  By keeping them maintained, you will avoid further liability by an employee or customer using them on a fire, only to find they do not work due to lack of maintenance.

My extinguisher looks in excellent condition.  Do I still need to have it inspected?
Yes.  A fire extinguisher that appears to have pressure on the gauge and in excellent condition on the outside, is no guarantee that it will operate properly.  Inspection levels including annual maintenance, 6-year internal maintenance 12-year hydrostatic test are all intended to ensure the unit will operate safely, properly and effectively. 

How do I clean up the dry chemical residue after a fire?
Fire extinguisher chemicals and powders are considered non-hazardous and can be swept or vacuumed for cleaning.  Some irritation may occur similar to sawdust, floor dust or other fine dirt.  Ordinary equipment such as gloves, safety glasses or dust mask may be used if necessary. 

What is the plastic collar around the neck of my fire extinguisher?
The National Fire Protection Association requires that we install this collar every time we perform an internal inspection or hydrostatic test on your fire extinguisher.  The collar can only be installed by discharging the unit, removing the valve and then recharging the unit.  This provides evidence that the level of service documented for the fire extinguisher was actually performed. 

How do I determine when my fire extinguisher is due for inspection?
Check the tag that hangs on the front of your fire extinguisher.  It should have the month and year punched out, from the last service.  These tags are valid for one-year from the date punched.  (to the end of that month).  If it has been more than one year since the last inspection or if there is no tag at all, the unit is now due for inspection. 

Should I remove the colored seal that holds the pull pin in place from the fire extinguisher?
No – not until you intend to use the fire extinguisher on an actual fire.  This is a tamper seal that is in place to keep the pull pin from coming out and allowing an accidental discharge.  It is designed to be broken by ordinary force of removing the pull pin by hand.  You should not need scissors or cutters to remove the seal.