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Fire Extinguisher Inspections

My name is Jill, Chief Safety Officer with Vivid Learning Systems. I'm a former OSHA inspector here to help you identify and correct workplace safety hazards.

Have you ever been asked to inspect your fire extinguishers but you really didn't know how to inspect them? Well let's learn how to do that.

Now it doesn't take any special training, you just need to know what to look for. If you've ever noticed there's a tag on each fire extinguisher and there's two sides to it, one side has a place for every month of the year, so there's 12 different places on the inspection tag. And then the other side is from the supplier of the fire extinguisher and that's where they come each year and do what's called the hydrostatic test and they'll mark off what month and year it was that they did the last test. So when you're going to do your monthly inspection here are the items that you need to be looking for.

First, let's make sure the fire extinguisher is mounted where you want it to be and that it's in place and it isn't actually missing. Next you want to make sure that the fire extinguisher isn't obstructed by anything so that you need to you can get to it if you need to in the case of an emergency, and that it's not being used as a coat rack or a hose hang out. Next take a look at the gauge itself and make sure that it's reading in the fill line, and then look for the pin so that the pin is in place  and that the plastic tie is holding the pin in place. Next take a look at the extinguisher itself and make sure that it's not showing any signs of corrosion or that it's leaking or dented or damaged in any way. If you note all of those items and it's okay go ahead and take your pen put your initials and the month and year that you did the inspection on the inspection tag and you're ready to go for the next month. Finally due to some work environments being different some employers don't want to have those inspection tags on their fire extinguishers and that's perfectly acceptable as long as you continue to do the inspections and keep track of them on a different record. Because remember if you didn't document it you didn't do it so you want to make sure that you're recording them, it just can be in a different place.

I hope you gained a safety skill today if you know someone who needs this go ahead and pass it on.

Safety is everyone's business.