Who should service and maintain our fire extinguishers?
Maintenance and servicing of fire extinguishers should be
performed by a licensed and insured fire extinguisher servicing
company that has the proper tools, training, recharge materials,
lubricants, and manufacturer's servicing instructions, and
How often should my fire extinguishers be checked?
- Monthly - Quick check to ensure that the fire extinguisher is
in the designated place with no obstruction to access or
visibility, and that the pressure gauge indicator is in the
- Annually - A thorough examination of the basic elements of the
fire extinguisher performed by a trained person who has undergone
the necessary instructions and has the manufacturer's service
What is the annual maintenance procedure for a fire
- Locate the fire extinguisher: check for access to, visibility,
and locator sign. The extinguisher shall not be obstructed. Examine
the bracket stability, extinguisher height and that the proper unit
is located for the hazard area.
- Remove the fire extinguisher from the bracket: check
hydrostatic test date, six year maintenance date (dry chemical) and
general condition of the cylinder and band. The operating
instructions on the extinguisher name plate shall be legible and
- Weigh the cylinder, check the gauge, remove the safety pin and
tamper seal. Inspect handles for proper operation. Reinsert the
safety pin with a new seal.
- Remove hose, horn or nozzle. Check for obstructions, wear and
proper operation. Reassemble all equipment.
- A conductivity test shall be conducted on all carbon dioxide
hose assemblies. Hose assemblies found to be nonconductive shall be
- Thoroughly clean all equipment, replace worn labels and attach
new annual NFPA-10 inspection tag.
- Reinstall unit on bracket back to service.
- When an inspection reveals that tampering has occurred or the
unit is due for extended maintenance, the unit must be taken out of
service. A spare fire extinguisher suitable for the hazard being
protected of equal or greater rating shall be left.
What is a hydrostatic test?
Pressure testing of a fire extinguisher to verify its strength
against unwanted rupture performed by a facility that is approved
by the D.O.T. to requalify cylinders.
How often is a hydrostatic test required?
- Dry Chemical 12 years
- Water, AFF, FFFP 5 years
- Halogenated Agent 12 years
- Carbon Dioxide 5 years
What is a six-year maintenance?
An internal examination of an emptied dry chemical fire
extinguisher to check for corrosion and any interior problems.
Extinguishers that pass the six year maintenance are then
recharged, reassembled, and receive a six year service label and a
verification of service collar.
What are the classes of fire?
- Class A Wood, Paper, Cloth, Rubber
- Class B Flammable Liquids
- Class C Electrical
- Class D Combustible Metals
- Class K Combustible Cooking Media
What is the maximum travel distance for fire
- Class A 75 Feet
- Class B 50 Feet
- Class D 75 Feet
- Class K 30 Feet
At what height should fire extinguishers be installed?
- Fire extinguishers having a gross weight not exceeding 40
pounds shall be installed so that the top of the fire extinguisher
is not more than 5 feet above the floor.
- Fire extinguishers having a gross weight exceeding 40 pounds
shall be installed so that the top of the fire extinguisher is not
more than 3 1/2 feet above the floor
- In no case shall the clearance between the bottom of the fire
extinguishers and the floor be less than 4".
I have a fire extinguisher with a 4-A:60-B:C rating, what does
- It should extinguish approximately twice as much Class A fire
as a 2-A rated fire extinguisher.
- It should extinguish approximately six times as much class B
fire as a 10-B rated fire extinguisher.
- It is suitable for use on energized electrical equipment.
What type of fire extinguisher should I get for my home?
The following are NFPA-10 minimum recommendations per floor:
- A single fire extinguisher rated 2-A:10-B:C or higher.
- One single fire extinguisher rated 2-A or higher, and a second
fire extinguisher rated 10-B:C or higher.
What fire extinguishers are considered obsolete by NFPA-10
- The following types of fire extinguishers are considered
obsolete and shall be removed from service:
- Soda acid
- Chemical foam (excluding film-forming agents)
- Vaporizing liquid (e.g., carbon tetrachloride)
- Cartridge-operated water
- Cartridge-operated loaded stream
- Copper or brass shell (excluding pump tanks) joined by soft
solder or rivets
- Carbon dioxide extinguishers with metal horns
- Solid charge type AFFF extinguishers (paper cartridge)
- Pressurized water extinguishers manufactured prior to 1971
- Any extinguisher that needs to be inverted to operate
- Any stored pressure extinguisher manufactured prior to
- Any extinguisher with 4B, 6B, 8B, 12B, and 16B fire
- Stored pressure water extinguishers with fiberglass shells
- Dry chemical stored pressure extinguishers manufactured prior
to October 1984 shall be removed from service at the next 6-year
maintenance interval or the next hydrostatic test interval,
whichever comes first.
- Any fire extinguisher that can no longer be serviced in
accordance with the manufacturer's maintenance manual is considered
obsolete and shall be removed from service.
Fire Suppression Systems
Why are Fire Panels required?
Stainless Steel Fire Panels prevent heat/flames from penetrating
flammable dry wall or wood.
|Aftermath of a fire in a kitchen
without Stainless Steel Fire Panels
|Remodeled kitchen with
Stainless Steel Fire Panels
Who should service and maintain special hazard fire suppression
Maintenance and servicing of special hazard fire suppression
systems should be performed by a licensed and insured special
hazard fire suppression servicing company with Factory trained
and Certified Service Technicians.
How often should my systems be inspected?
What is a fusible link?
Fusible links are temperature sensitive fire protection devices
designed to be part of a fire protection system. The Fire
Suppression System is activated when the ambient temperature
increases to the point that causes the fusible link to break
How often do fusible links need to be replaced?
What is UL-300?
UL-300 is the Standard for the Testing of Fire Extinguishing
Systems for Protection of Restaurant Cooking Areas, effective since
November 21, 1994. All new restaurant cooking area fire protection
systems manufactured after the effective date must comply with
UL-300 for a UL listing.
How do I know if my Kitchen Exhaust Hood System meets UL-300
Obvious Indicators that your kitchen exhaust hood system does
not meet UL-300 would include:
- No UL-300 label on the system's cylinder(s)
- Installed prior to 11/21/1994
- Dry chemical extinguishing media
- Dry chemical discharge nozzles - large size- 2" diameter
- System uses water spray or CO2 to protect appliances
- System uses a single nozzle to protect multiple appliances or
multiple cooking surfaces
What is UL?
Underwriters Laboratories Inc. (UL) is an independent, not for
profit product safety testing and certification organization. UL
has tested products for public safety since its founding in
What are the clearances required by code from my Kitchen
Exhaust Hood and ductwork to combustible, limited combustible, and
NFPA-96 Section 4.2.1 requires a clearance of 18" to combustible
material, 3" to limited-combustible material, and 0" to
Why does my Kitchen Exhaust Hood need to be welded?
NFPA-96 Section 5.1.2 requires that all seams, joints and
penetrations of the hood enclosure that direct and capture
grease-laden vapors and exhaust gases shall have a liquid tight
continuous external weld to the hood's lower outermost perimeter.
This helps to contain a fire within the hood where it can be
extinguished by the exhaust hood's fire suppression system.
Inspect fire extinguishers at least once a
month (more often in severe environments).
Fire extinguisher maintenance is important for
- You must ensure that:
- The extinguisher is not blocked by equipment, coats or other
objects that could interfere with access in an emergency.
- The pressure is at the recommended level. On extinguishers
equipped with a gauge (such as that shown on the right), the needle
should be in the green zone - not too high and not too low.
- The nozzle or other parts are not hindered in any way.
- The pin and tamper seal (if it has one) are intact.
- There are no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and/or other
signs of abuse/wear. Wipe off any corrosive chemicals, oil, gunk
etc. that may have deposited on the extinguisher.
- Some manufacturers recommend shaking your dry chemical
extinguishers once a month to prevent the powder from
- Fire extinguishers should be pressure tested (a process called
hydrostatic testing) after a number of years to ensure that the
cylinder is safe to use. Consult your owner's manual, extinguisher
label or the manufacturer to see when yours may need such
- If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it
- IMPORTANT: Recharge all extinguishers immediately after
use regardless of how much they were used.
What is the difference between a fire extinguisher inspection
and fire extinguisher maintenance?
An inspection is a "quick check" to give reasonable assurance that
a fire extinguisher is available, fully charged and operable. The
value of an inspection lies in the frequency, regularity, and
thoroughness with which it is conducted. The frequency will vary
from hourly to monthly, based on the needs of the situation.
Inspections should always be conducted when extinguishers are
initially placed in service and thereafter at approximately 30-day
Fire extinguishers should be maintained at regular intervals (at
least once a year), or when specifically indicated by an
inspection. Maintenance is a "thorough check" of the extinguisher.
It is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will
operate effectively and safely. It includes a thorough examination
and any necessary repair, recharging or replacement. It will
normally reveal the need for hydrostatic testing of an