Most homeowners don’t think about home fire extinguishers often. But these are important home safety tools. To be sure it functions when needed, your extinguisher needs some basic maintenance. Establish a habit of regular safety inspections using these tips:
- Visually check your portable fire extinguisher every month. Follow the manufacturer’s maintenance instructions.
- Examine the pin and seal. Your extinguisher has a pull pin on the handle, held in place by a tamper seal. If either of these components is damaged, broken, or missing, it may have been used, or it may not be ready to use in an emergency.
- Inspect the hose and nozzle. Check to see that both are clear of dirt and appear in good condition.
- Monitor the pressure. The needle on the gauge will determine whether the extinguisher is fully charged. It should be in the green zone.
- Give it a shake. Shaking dry chemical extinguishers monthly keeps the powder from clumping or settling.
- Once each year have your extinguishers inspected and maintained by a licensed technician.
- Always check your owner’s manual for the inspection requirements specified for your extinguisher.
Follow these simple maintenance tips to ensure that your fire extinguisher works when it is needed.