Fire Extinguisher Inspection

A fire extinguisher inspection is a process that must be conducted monthly to ensure that this fire equipment is in good working conditions. The monitoring and maintenance of fire extinguishers are done through inspection processes that are performed by an external team. However, the organization also have their own teams and safety officers to ensure the implementation of an effective fire safety strategy.

About 90 percent of fire incidents that happen in commercial facilities are extinguished by the public by using a fire extinguisher, and even one fire extinguisher is not working properly; it can put hundreds or sometimes thousands of lives at risk. It is the job of a safety officer to perform fire extinguisher inspection regularly to ensure that they are in fine condition and maintain proper records to avoid any life loss.

A safety office must know how he can effectively perform inspection. Moreover, he must be well-informed about common issues that can appear during an inspection, and he should know how to fix them.

How Often Must You Perform Fire Extinguisher Inspections?

If you are a property owner that has fire extinguishers, you must know that regulations regarding fire extinguisher inspections. But the main question is whether or not you understand the difference between fire extinguisher maintenance and inspection, also how often you must perform inspections.

Here is a quick explanation for you to know how often you need to inspect your fire extinguishers:

Monthly Inspection

  • Once in every 31 days, it is must that you perform a visual inspection just to ensure:
  • Fire extinguishers are present at their designation location.
  • They are not blocked and can be easily accessed whenever required.
  • The instruction labels on the fire extinguishers are readable.
  • All tamper indicators and seals are fine.
  • There are no signs of clogging, leakage, damage, and corrosion.

However, if you find any issue while doing the inspection, it is better to call a fire protection company immediately to get your fire extinguishers well maintained.

Also, you should maintain a written record of all the manual inspections of every month, year, along with the initials of the person who performed inspections.

Annual Maintenance

Other than the monthly inspections that you can perform yourself, or you can also hire an individual to do it, you should perform annual maintenance on your fire extinguishers.

These inspections must be performed by a professional agency that works to ensure fire protection. This inspection includes the examination of:

  • Mechanical parts.
  • Physical condition.
  • Expelling means.
  • Extinguishing agent.

This examination includes the inspection of external portions of your fire extinguishers. It will help you to know that there are no signs of host blockages, broken seals, leaks, tampering, illegible labels, or deterioration.

Some kinds of extinguishers, such as cartridge-operated extinguisher or cylinder extinguisher, also need to be inspected annually.

Additional Maintenance

Apart from monthly and annual inspections, the following examinations must be performed:

Six-year internal examination

This should be performed every six years. It encompasses emptying fire extinguishers that need twelve-year hydrostatic testing and examining them internally and externally.

Twelve Year Hydrostatic Test

Once every twelve years, most kinds of fire extinguishers require hydrostatic testing. It is a process that involves examining fire extinguishers for any leaks and deformities.

Non-rechargeable Fire Extinguishers

If you have non-rechargeable fire extinguishers that can be used for one time only, then you do not need a six-year or twelve-year examination process. These must be eliminated from fire extinguisher service, and it should be done not later than twelve years from their date of manufacturing.

Performing A Fire Extinguisher Inspection In 3 Minutes

When you are conducting a monthly inspection of fire extinguishers, you must follow five essential steps. Once you know what you are looking for, you can safely perform an inspection in just three minutes.

Check Accessibility

  • First, you should check the fire extinguisher’s accessibility and visibility.
  • See if the fire extinguisher is present in its designation location and see if it can be seen easily.
  • Make sure it is not blocked by any object or other equipment that can make it hard for you to reach it when required during an emergency.
  • You must ensure that portable fire extinguishers (other than wheeled types) are located securely in their designated place, such as a wooden box or unlocked cabinet of glass.

Inspect The Physical State

  • Pick your fire extinguisher, and check its labels. Check the overall condition and any defects:
  • Look for the real number of the fire extinguisher and make sure the label is readable.
  • Make sure that the cylinder and its metal parts have no signs of dents or corrosion or any other type of damage.
  • You must check the connection between the cylinder and the hose. It should be secured.
  • Inspect for a potential leak in the nozzle and cracks in the hose.
  • Make sure that the locking pin is passing through the discharge level holes and handle and that the pin is secured by the seal properly. The pin ensures that the discharge lever is locked and prevents any accidental discharge.

Inspect The Pressure Gauge

  • Perform inspection on the gauge needles. If a needle is in the green zone, it is good, whereas if the needle is in the left red zone, it means that the extinguisher is undercharged, and it requires recharging. While the needle showing in the right red zone means that the fire extinguisher is overcharged.

Check The Fire Extinguisher Inspection Tags

  • Check if the tag of inspection is attached. The fire extinguisher tag must show that the fire extinguisher is inspected regularly.

Create A Report And Recommend Action Plans

  • Once you have performed the inspection, you can summarize an action plan using the observations you recorded. Also, ensure to sign off the inspection tag available with the fire extinguisher with your signature/name along with the inspection date.

What Are The Top 5 Most Common Issues Identified During Fire Extinguisher Inspections And What To Do

It is necessary to know how to understand how to spot properly functioning fire extinguishers. Also, you must be aware of some common issues that appear during the inspection and how you should respond to them:

Here are the most common issues that you can encounter when examining fire extinguisher using fire extinguisher checklist and their possible responses:

Obstructed Location Of The Fire Extinguisher

When you spot a fire extinguisher in a location where people had to put a lot of effort to take it out, it can become a matter of life and death. This necessary equipment must be placed at a location where they can be accessed easily. Pay attention to their designated locations and make sure they are not behind any sort of furniture, inside locked doors, hidden under cabinets or office desks.


You must always remove all kinds of obstructions to make sure that the fire extinguishers are placed carefully and securely at locations where anyone can see them. Also, you must not keep changing their locations because it would create confusion at the time of emergency. Install them at places like entrance, exits, in hallways, etc.

Rust and/or Dents On Cylinder

Most fire extinguishers do not get used, and due to this, they can deteriorate. A corrosive and humid environment, accidental bumps, and constant transfers can be bad for the physical health of this must-have equipment. As a result of physical defects, the risk of dangerous explosions can increase.


If you see any signs of physical damage on the body while inspecting fire extinguishers, you must send them to manufacturers to replace them as soon as possible.

Undercharged & Overcharged Fire Extinguisher

If the fire extinguisher has enough velocity that it can spur the chemical that is 10 to 20 feet away, it has a good charge. However, an overcharged one might cause leakage or something worse, such as a cylinder explosion. While an undercharged extinguisher is not the one you can rely on at the times of need as it will not extinguish the fire.


If you spot any of the cases mentioned above, it is your sign to send your fire extinguishers to manufacturers for recharging or replacement.

Broken Seal/ Missing Locking Pin

Seals and locking pins can go missing if they have been tampered and were not replaced after training exercises, or if they were not installed simply in the first place. Both of these work together to prevent any unintentional level pressing and release of the onside content.


Whatever is missing, make sure you replace them immediately. Seals and pins are made of metal or plastic. If you do not have them in stock, contact your fire extinguisher or visit your nearest hardware store.

Fire Extinguisher Not Placed Above Ground Level

If a fire extinguisher is placed directly on the floor, it might lead to accidents if someone bumps it off. It can also lead to dents. Moreover, the varying temperature of the floor can also affect the fire extinguisher and can cause a change in pressure.


Depending on the size of the cylinder, the most common practice is to mount the fire extinguisher on a wall using metal brackets. They should be placed 3.5 to 5 feet above the floor.

Fire Extinguisher Inspection Requirements

Do you know how often does OSHA require fire extinguishers inspected? Well, if not, here’s what you need to know.

These are OSHA fire extinguisher inspection, maintenance, and testing requirements:

  • Make sure to inspect, maintain, and test all of your fire extinguishers.
  • You must visually inspect hoses or portable extinguishers every month.
  • Ensure to conduct a yearly maintenance check on all of your portable extinguishers. Pressure extinguishers that are stored do not need any internal examination. Be sure to record the yearly date of maintenance and keep this record safe for at least a year. Also, you should make this record available for Assistant Secretary when required.
  • Make sure to empty and then dry chemical extinguishers that need twelve-year hydrostatic testing every six years. Dry chemical extinguishers that contain non-refillable and disposable containers are not included in this. However, when hydrostatic testing or recharging is performed, the requirement for six-year begin from that date.
  • Make sure that you provide alternate and equivalent protections when you remove any portable fire extinguisher from their place for of recharging and maintenance

Does the fire department inspect fire extinguishers?

No, the fire department does not offer services of fire extinguishers. However, checking in the Yellow Pages under the Fire Extinguisher might help. You can find a range of businesses that offer to service fire extinguishers. Simply to say, if you do not know how to inspect a fire extinguisher, you can always use external help.

Best Mobile App & Cloud Software for Fire Extinguisher Inspections

The safety officers can perform an inspection on over 100 fire extinguishers and maintain complete post-inspection reports individually. However, so much paperwork can increase the risk of errors, and therefore the risk of fire that is caused by just one fire extinguisher can also increase.

Using a fire extinguisher inspection software can not only enhance workplace safety but also you can perform inspection efficiently and properly without having to worry about human errors.

You can easily use software that can assist you in conducting fire extinguisher inspections. The good ones will offer you the following benefits:

  • Perform paperless and efficient inspection using your mobile device.
  • Attach pictures and notes to your inspection reports.
  • Assign corrective actions to issues that you spot during your inspection.
  • Create visual inspection reports and share them with the team anytime and anywhere.
  • Store all your data in the cloud and keep your reports and fire extinguisher inspection templates safe.

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