Introduction:

Fire safety is nothing that should be left up to chance. However, it's just as important to realize that the majority of fires can be combatted with access to a working fire extinguisher.

"When a fire extinguisher is used on a fire in the United States, 75% of the time, the fire department is not required to attend the incident." - Brandon Gaille, 21 Fire Extinguisher Industry Statistics and Trends

That's 75% of fires (that have extinguishers used on them) that fire departments can avoid in order to focus on the blazes that actually need their attention.

Needless to say, you need to be sure that your safety equipment is in working order. That's why you should use this Fire Extinguisher Inspection Checklist.

By running this free checklist every month with Process Street for each of your extinguishers, you can sit tight in the knowledge that you're prepared for any eventuality.

Enough talk - let's make sure that your safety is up to standard!

Record basic details

Start by recording your details in the form fields below.

This will show who was carrying out the inspection and when the inspection was carried out should anyone else need to check through your checklist records. By assigning your manager they will automatically be given an approval task for this checklist.

This final form field is vital, as all extinguishers should be examined at least every twelve months by a licensed fire protection services company.

Record the location of the extinguisher

Start the inspection proper by checking the location of the fire extinguisher. Record your findings with the form fields below.

It's vital that, in case of an emergency, you know where your fire extinguishers are. Supplementary to that, they need to be where everyone expects them to be.

That's why you need to record where the extinguisher is, where it should be, and whether the two actually match. It also makes clear which extinguisher this checklist is being used to inspect.

It might seem like beating a dead horse, but this will make it easy to see the location of your extinguisher at a glance when viewing an overview of all of your inspections.

Determine ease of accessibility

Next you need to check that the extinguisher is easily accessible. Record whether this is true using the dropdown field below.

The last thing you want in an emergency is to not be able to find the safety equipment you need. That's why a vital part of the fire extinguisher inspection checklist is to make sure that nothing is blocking the extinguisher from being used.

Check that the location isn't obscured by furniture or secured with unnecessary extra security steps.

It's all well and good to want to secure your equipment, but it's more important that a team member will be able to use it without having to search for something to unlock its case.

Examine the operating instructions

Now it's time to check that the operating instructions are front-facing and clearly legible. Record whether this is true in the form field below.

Check whether the extinguisher is full

There's no point in having a fire extinguisher that's up to standards if, when it comes to using it, it's completely empty. Check whether the extinguisher is full and record your findings in the dropdown field below.

The easiest way to do this is to lift the extinguisher to see how heavy it is. If it's heavy, it should be full.

Examine the pressure gauge

It's time to check the pressure gauge. Take a look at the gauge and record your findings in the form field below.

There is no real trick to this stage - you should be able to easily see whether the extinguisher's pressure level is where it should be in the gauge.

The pressure of the extinguisher is also the reason why you shouldn't test the extinguisher by using it. Expelling a small amount of the contents can cause a drop in pressure, meaning that the item is no longer up to standards.

Check the safety seals

Check the safety seals of the fire extinguisher to make sure that none are broken or have been removed. Record your findings in the form field below.

The main elements you need to check here are the tamper seal and locking pin. Both are located at the top of the extinguisher and prevent unintended use of the item - if both are in place and in working condition, the extinguisher has not been used.

The locking pin is a metal pin with a ring handle that sits between the extinguisher's two handles. This prevents the handles from being squeezed together to activate the device.

The tamper seal is a plastic tie (similar to a zip tie) which encircles the top handle and the head of the locking pin, preventing the latter from being pulled out without breaking the seal.

Assess the general physical condition

Take the time to assess the extinguisher's physical condition for anything odd. Note your findings in the form field below.

In an ideal situation, nothing should be amiss. However, you should be wary (and take note) of any obvious damage or leakage on the container.

Corrosion can be spotted by discoloration of the body of the container or more obvious damage to the nozzle or connecting parts. This typically looks like rust, and can cause (in extreme cases) the extinguisher to explode - do not ignore it!

Don't forget to check the nozzle fo the extinguisher to make sure that it isn't clogged.

Examine peripheries

You're almost done! Next you need to examine the peripheries of the extinguisher. Record your findings using the form fields below, and use the subtasks to check that you've examined everything.

  • 1
    Tires and wheels (for wheeled units)
  • 2
    Wall brackets
  • 3
    Stands and/or housing
  • 4
    Instructions/signs for the extinguisher in the surrounding area

Check the inspection tag

Now it's time to check the inspection tag of the extinguisher. Record your findings in the form fields below.

The main thing here is to check that the date of the last inspection carried out by a qualified fire protection services company was less than a year ago.

Be sure to note the current date on the back of the tag to show that an inspection took place.

If you are a qualified inspector carrying out this checklist, this task does not change. Fill in the form fields to show that the inspection has taken place and make your mark on the tag.

Present your results

Congratulations, you've finished your part of the fire extinguisher inspection checklist!

This task will bring together all of the data entered during your inspection, making it easy for your manager to review the inspection as a whole.

Double check the information below to make sure that it's correct, then mark this task as complete when you want to submit the checklist for approval.

Inspector: {{form.Inspector's_Name}}

Job Title: {{form.Inspector's_Job_Title}}

Inspection Date: {{form.Date_of_Inspection}}

Is the Inspector Part of a Licensed Fire Protection Services Company?: {{form.Is_the_Inspector_Part_of_a_Licensed_Fire_Protection_Services_Company?}}

Fire Extinguisher Location: {{form.Fire_Extinguisher_Location}}

Is the Extinguisher Easily Accessible?: {{form.Is_the_Extinguisher_Easily_Accessible?}}

Are the Operating Instructions Legible?: {{form.Are_the_Operating_Instructions_Legible?}}

Does the Extinguisher Feel Full?: {{form.Does_the_Extinguisher_Feel_Full?}}

Is the Pressure Gauge in the Green?: {{form.Is_the_Pressure_Gauge_in_the_Green?}}

Are Safety Seals Intact?: {{form.Are_Safety_Seals_Intact?}}

General Physical Condition Notes: {{form.General_Physical_Condition_Notes}}

Extinguisher Periphery Findings: {{form.Extinguisher_Periphery_Findings}}

Date of Last Qualified Inspection: {{form.Date_of_Last_Qualified_Inspection}}

Is the Extinguisher Due for a Qualified Inspection?: {{form.Is_the_Extinguisher_Due_for_a_Qualified_Inspection?}}

Review the inspection:

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Present your results
    Will be submitted

Sources:

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