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Telltale Signs You Need to Replace Your Fire Extinguisher

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Just how valuable fire extinguishers are? According to a 2002 study, fire extinguishers put out as much as 80% of fires successfully. What’s more, in 75% of those instances, the fire department didn’t have to lend a helping hand further.

Having a fire extinguisher within your easy reach can help save not only your property but also lives. Such is especially true if you’re running a business, and your establishment is packed with goods, employees, and customers.

Refrain from assuming that the presence of a fire extinguisher is sure to keep fires at bay. It needs to be in an excellent working condition for it to be able to carry out its job. So, in other words, you should take care of it for it to be able to take care of your business.

Every five years, it’s a must that you opt for fire extinguisher pressure testing and recharging. This is something that is performed by certified individuals. It will make you a law-abiding business owner and also safeguard your money-making venture.

Aside from this, it’s also important to replace your fire extinguisher every 12 years. However, in some instances, you will have to get your hands on a new one without delay. Knowing the telltale signs will allow you to spring into action right away.

Unstable Handle

The handle needs to be squeezed to release the extinguishing agent stored inside the cylinder. It’s because of this reason exactly why it’s a must for the handle to be in an excellent state. Otherwise, you won’t be able to put out the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Unfortunately, there is no such thing as fire extinguisher handle repair. If it’s wobbly or broken, the entire fire extinguisher will need to be replaced with a new one. The same has to be done if the locking pin is missing or damaged.

Problematic Hose or Nozzle

The extinguishing agent exits the cylinder via the hose and nozzle. It’s of utmost importance that the structural integrity of both these parts of the fire extinguisher is intact. Otherwise, no extinguishing agent will be released to put out the fire.

Bugs, debris and even the extinguishing agent from an earlier discharge can cause the hose to end up clogged. While durable, the hose can become stiff and brittle due to exposure to low temperatures. This can easily lead to cracks, rips and holes.

Outer Shell Damage

A quick way to determine whether or not your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced is by looking at its appearance. If it’s apparent that the outer shell has some form of damage, such as a nasty dent, you should replace it with a brand new one.

The same is true if you can spot some rust on the body. Placing a fire extinguisher in a humid/corrosive environment can invite rust to form. This can cause some of the components to malfunction. Rust can also cause the cylinder to explode.

Slow Pressure Loss

It’s time to get your hands on a new fire extinguisher if your current one is slowly losing pressure, even if no discharge of the extinguishing agent is being done. This is an indicator that a leak is taking place, and it can make the fire extinguisher useless.

Even after fire extinguisher pressure testing and recharging, a leak can cause it to lose pressure gradually. Since this matter cannot and should not be resolved by any form of repair, the best step to take is to have the fire extinguisher replaced immediately.

Sylvia James is a copywriter and content strategist. She helps businesses stop playing around with content marketing and start seeing the tangible ROI. She loves writing as much as she loves the cake.