How to maintain a dry powder fire extinguisher

How to maintain a dry powder fire extinguisher

Fire extinguisher inspection and maintenance is important to safeguard you and your premises. An extinguisher that is not maintained can be more dangerous than no extinguisher at all. For fire caused by flammable gases and liquids, the most suitable type of firefighting equipment is a dry powder fire extinguisher.


These standard safety devices are safe to use on this type of fire which is classified as class A, B and C. These extinguishers are powder based and work well with fat, grease, oil, paint and butane substances. There are a variety of powders used in this type of fire equipment. The standard powder works well on burning liquids and is effective against burning solids


Getting Started


The first step is the inspection, which is a visual process. Checking the pressure gauge is in the green zone and then the extinguisher inspector normally shines it with a cloth, allowing her or him to simultaneously check for rust, dents or any other serious damage. Once completed, they remove the hose and blow through it to make sure that there are no obstructions, then they inspect the handles, valve head assembly and pull the pin.


The inspector inspects to make sure the instruction name plate is legible. It helps to provide you all the necessary information that you need to know to operate the extinguisher including:


1. Information on how much powder or chemical is present in the extinguisher

2. Pictures and letters of the classes of fire that it can extinguish

3. The temperatures at which the extinguisher operates


You need to know two important things about the extinguisher, the manufacture date located on the label at the bottom of the cylinder, or stamped on the underside of extinguisher. It needs to be hydrostatically tested.


Hydrostatic testing


The extinguisher cylinder is pressurized to test the pressure and to make sure there are no pinhole leaks, or hairline cracks and that the cylinder can maintain pressure without any break. After the completion, the extinguisher is dried out, and a sticker will be placed to determine that it has been tested.


Final inspection of gross weight


A final check is weighing the charged fire extinguisher. The label indicates how much dry chemical powder to add and how high to set the pressure. Weighing the entire unit involves valve head, tamper seal, nozzle, pin, hose and dry chemical.


A fire extinguisher service and maintenance are essential for protecting the life and efficiency of the extinguisher.


Veteran Fire Safety offers fire extinguisher supply and maintenance. If you need fire extinguishers or advice on fire safety contact us on 01530 588 189

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