Hey All! Today I was cooking dinner for the family on the grill and a flare up of flames occurred. It was nothing that required a fire extinguisher but it got me thinking about fire extinguishers in clients’ homes. I am certified through InterNACHI to inspect portable fire extinguishers. An extinguisher is like a seatbelt in a car, you do not know how valuable a properly functioning one is until you need it. If you neglect to take care of a fire extinguisher it may not work when you actually need it. Fire Departments in rural West Virginia may be many miles away and a non-functioning fire extinguisher could be the difference between a small fire and a catastrophe.
Oftentimes people have fire extinguishers in the house but do not know how to maintain them or may not know that it is even required.
Below are a few considerations to think of around your house:
● Fire Extinguishers are required to be located in a designated place (often they get moved and not returned making them hard to find during an emergency)
● No obstruction to access.
● Operating instructions on the nameplate are legible.
● Safety seals and tamper indicators are not broken or missing and have to be made of an approved material. You cannot use wire for a safety seal.
● Examine the extinguisher for obvious physical damage or corrosion.
● Label is in place
● The discharge hose is not cracked or broken.
● The extinguisher is not overdue for required annual, six year, or 12 year maintenance (5 year if it is a CO2 extinguisher).
The following pictures are of a problematic fire extinguisher I recently ran across. As you can see from the pictures, the label is missing, the discharge hose is cracked, the safety seal is missing and has been replaced with a piece or wire, and there are obvious signs of damage and corrosion. It is impossible to tell how long it’s been since it has been serviced.
304 Inspections is ready to help with the required monthly portable fire extinguisher inspection. Give us a call today so we can serve all your home inspection needs.