Focus: Fire-Life Safety / Column

Regulations, Codes & Standards Q&A: Portable fire extinguishers

By Brad Keyes / Special to Healthcare Facilities Today
December 19, 2018

Q: In regards to fire extinguisher inspections… when the annual fire extinguisher maintenance is done, say in June, does the monthly fire extinguisher inspection still need to be completed?

A: Yes. According to NFPA 10-2010, there are distinctly different requirements for the annual maintenance and the monthly inspection. Typically, the annual maintenance does include the actions required for monthly inspections, although there is no reason why the same person could not perform both duties during the annual maintenance process.

Annual Maintenance requires the following to be confirmed:

• A thorough examination of the following:

• • Mechanical parts of all extinguishers

• • Physical appearance

• • Components of electrically monitored systems

• • Hoses on wheeled-type extinguishers completely uncoiled and examined for damage

• • Tamper seals on rechargeable extinguishers must be removed and replaced with new seals

• • For extinguishers that require a 12-year hydro-static test, once every 6-years the extinguisher must be emptied and subjected to an internal examination

• • A verification collar must be installed on the outside of the extinguisher, underneath the valve after an internal examination

• • CO2 hose assemblies must have a conductivity test

• Monthly Inspection requires the following to be confirmed:

• • Location in designated place

• • No obstruction to access or visibility

• • Pressure gauge reading or indicator in the operable range or position

• • Fullness determined by weighing or hefting for self-expelling-type extinguishers,

cartridge-operated extinguishers, and pump tanks

• • Condition of tires, wheels, carriage, hose, and nozzle for wheeled extinguishers

• • Indicator for non-rechargeable extinguishers using push-to-test pressure indicators

So, you can see an annual maintenance activity does not meet the requirement for a monthly inspection, but there should be no reason why the same person could not perform both duties.

Brad Keyes, CHSP, is the owner of KEYES Life Safety Compliance, and his expertise is in the management of the Life Safety Program, including the Environment of Care and Emergency Management programs.



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