Fire Extinguisher Inspections & Service Vancouver

A portable fire extinguisher is perhaps the most familiar fire protection device in your building. It is your first line of defence. However, like all aspects of your fire protection system, a fire extinguisher is only effective if it is properly maintained and used.

NFPA 10, Vancouver bylaws and B.C. Fire Code section 6.2 require your fire extinguishers to

  • conform to the applicable CAN/ULC standards for installation
  • be inspected monthly
  • be inspected and tested annually by an authorized fire protection professional
  • undergo scheduled maintenance at 3, 6 and 12 years

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Our ASTT-certified fire protection technicians at Vancouver Fire check that you have the correct type of portable fire extinguishers in appropriate locations. We ensure their physical and mechanical condition comply with NFPA and other regulations. Our fire protection technicians monitor your fire extinguishers’ mandatory recharge and pressure testing dates, and document all test results properly.

At Vancouver Fire, life safety is our passion. We pride ourselves on delivering quality customer service each and every day. Rest assured that our inspections are thorough and competent. We also offer complimentary training so that your building representative can conduct monthly visual inspections.

Because fire extinguishers are your first line of defence, building occupants must be familiar with and comfortable using them. As a full-service fire protection company, Vancouver Fire can help you select and properly install your fire extinguishers, as well as provide safety training for your staff and tenants.

Information about safety training.

For your reference, we have summarized some of the NFPA monthly, annual and multi-year inspection and testing requirements  below.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

Monthly Inspection Requirements

Under NFPA 10, you must check the following for your portable fire extinguishers each month:

  • Location pressure tamper indicator, hose/nozzle sign, hanger, hazard assessment, HMIS label
  • Location in designated place
  • No obstruction to access or visibility
  • Operating instructions on nameplate legible and facing outward
  • Safety seals and tamper indicators not broken or missing
  • Fullness (confirmed by weighing or lifting)
  • Obvious physical damage, corrosion, leakage or clogged nozzle
  • Pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operational range or position
  • Condition of tires, wheels, carriage, hose and nozzle (for wheeled units)

If the monthly inspection reveals any problems with a rechargeable fire extinguisher, it must undergo full maintenance by an approved fire protection professional, or be replaced.

A non-rechargeable, or disposable, dry chemical fire extinguisher must be removed after use and replaced with a new one.

The person conducting the monthly inspection must record the results. At the annual inspection, each extinguisher receives a tag for tracking monthly inspections. Alternatively, you may keep a permanent record on an inspection checklist in electronic or paper format. We can provide you with these reports. While only a qualified fire protection technician should conduct the annual inspection and tests for your portable fire extinguishers, Vancouver Fire will train your staff members, free of charge, to conduct monthly inspections.

Contact us today to learn more about monthly fire extinguisher inspections.

Annual Fire Extinguisher Inspection Requirements

NFPA 10 requires a thorough annual examination of your portable fire extinguishers’ mechanical parts, extinguishing agent and expelling means by an approved fire protection service.

These annual maintenance and functional tests for portable fire extinguishers include:

  • All monthly inspection requirements
  • Conductivity test of all carbon dioxide and hose assemblies
  • Ensure extinguishers are in proper operating condition
  • Check safety seals, tags, pressure gauge reading, HMIS table
  • Empty and recharge all stored pressure-loaded stream fire extinguishers
  • Determine six-year maintenance or hydrostatic test
  • Inspect shell and nameplate
  • Check hanger/seismic bracing

After any maintenance, we install new tamper seals. And we fully document all test results as required by NFPA 10.

The regulations governing the inspection, testing and documentation for fire extinguishers can be complex and overwhelming. Rather than set out all the requirements here, we strongly recommend that you rely on a reputable fire protection service to take care of your portable fire extinguishers.

To schedule your annual fire extinguisher maintenance and testing, contact us today.

Fire Extinguisher Hydrostatic Testing

At five-year intervals, NFPA 10 requires hydrostatic testing of

  • carbon dioxide, wet chemical and foam dry system air leakage fire extinguishers
  • cartridges associated with portable fire extinguishers and wheeled units
  • carbon dioxide hoses equipped with a shut-off valve

NFPA 25, meanwhile, requires a 12-year hydrostatic test for ABC dry chemical extinguishers. These fire extinguishers must be recharged every six years.

The 12-year hydrostatic test is for dry chemical and clean agent extinguishers. After hydrostatic testing, the fire protection technician must attach a label to the fire extinguisher, recording the month, year, test pressure used and name of the fire protection service company.

Vancouver Fire is one of the few fire protection companies that provide this service. Because other fire protection companies do not have a facility for conducting hydrostatic tests, they may persuade you to buy a new unit instead.

We repair and maintain 12-year-old extinguishers instead of sending them to a landfill. Yes, hydrostatic testing demands expensive equipment and intensive labour, but in most cases, it costs less than a new chemical extinguisher. And it’s the right choice for the environment.

At Vancouver Fire, we believe in choosing the best option, not the easiest.

Contact us to learn more about hydrostatic testing.

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