Fire extinguisher inspections are an incredibly important part of safety, whether you are a business, landlord, or another type of professional. Fire extinguishers must be inspected according to OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), NFPA (National Fire Protection Association), and local standards to be considered valid. Inspections must be conducted regularly as part of proper preventative maintenance of your fire extinguisher. How often is this, and who can inspect fire extinguishers in Texas?
Who Can Inspect Fire Extinguishers in Texas?
Annual inspections are the minimum requirements according to NFPA 10, but it depends on the necessary inspection type. For example, in a business setting, it should be checked on a monthly basis by a designated employee on-site. Still, in other settings, it must be conducted annually by an industrial fire service technician.
What Happens During Fire Extinguisher Inspections?
The process of inspection depends on the type of fire extinguisher, but in most cases, the following are performed:
- Inspection of the exterior.
- Checking the cylinder dates, gauges, pull pin and tamper seal.
- Installing a new inspection tag onto the fire extinguisher.
Can Anybody Inspect Fire Extinguishers?
In a word, no. A licensed technician is only allowed to inspect fire extinguishers. Suppose you have not had an inspection at least 12 months ago or longer, or there are problems with the extinguisher, such as an expired tag. In that case, it is critical to schedule an annual inspection as the NFPA mandates an annual inspection, testing, and tagging for all fire extinguishers.
What Happens if Fire Extinguishers Are Not Getting Required Annual Preventative Maintenance and Inspections?
If you miss your annual required extinguisher preventative maintenance and inspection, it might be time to rethink your priorities. As most companies can schedule inspections at times that suit you, the fact of the matter is if you miss a fire extinguisher inspection, you must schedule one as soon as possible.
If a fire extinguisher passes its annual inspection conducted by a licensed professional such as a Fire Marshal, it is verified with a dated inspection tag valid for one year from that date, but if the unit does not pass the inspection, it will need to be repaired or replaced within a reasonable timeframe. If you skip annual inspections, you may violate the Fire Code, which could result in hefty fines.
Are There Any Exemptions?
When it comes to inspections, the only exemption is if it is a newly purchased fire extinguisher and does not require any inspection during the first 12 months of service unless it is specifically meant to have a monthly inspection.
It is critical that you make sure that your fire extinguishers are up to code. Monthly inspections, where you check for any superficial signs of damage, can ensure your extinguishers are in good working condition. When it comes to safety, you cannot underestimate the impact of what a fire extinguisher should do for you. Regular inspections are essential, and should you ever find yourself in a fire emergency, a working extinguisher will be the biggest help, which is why you should prioritize fire extinguisher inspections.