Fire remains one of the most dangerous risks to health and life in any household. When a fire breaks out, it will often spread rapidly and generate intense heat and toxic smoke. For this reason, you should seriously consider having a fire extinguisher installed in your home. However, a fire extinguisher will only help to protect your home or your family if it operates as expected and does not malfunction. Below is a guide to 3 things you can do to ensure that your fire extinguisher operates as it should.

Have the extinguisher inspected on a periodic basis

You should carry out a visual inspection of your portable fire extinguisher for any signs of damage. Every few months, you should call in a technician so a professional inspection from a fire extinguisher service can take place. After every inspection, the technician should attach a small metal tag to the exterior of the extinguisher which contains details such as the date of the last inspection and the date when the next inspection of the equipment should take place.

Have the internal pressure checked

With the passage of time, the pressure within a fire extinguisher can slowly fall. A fire extinguisher with a low internal pressure will not project the stream of water, foam or chemical powder very far which will prevent you from effectively fighting the fire. This testing should only be carried out by a trained technician and will normally take place during the periodical checks. If the fire extinguisher has low pressure, a technician will be able to repressurize it for you.

Consider the impact of environmental conditions

The official guidelines are designed to maintain a fire extinguisher which is kept within what is considered 'normal' conditions. These normal conditions are generally presumed to be within a temperate and indoor environment. If you are going to be storing your fire extinguisher in an outdoor climate where the temperature falls close to freezing, becomes very hot due to intense summer heat or gets very wet due to tropical storms, you should consider having the fire extinguisher inspected on a more regular basis. These irregular conditions can increase the chance that the outer casing of the extinguisher will become corroded by rust or weakened by the expansion and contractions of the metal as it is warmed and cooled during the day. 

If you would like further advice about maintaining your fire extinguisher, you should contact an appliance service today.