How To Complete a Home Fire Extinguisher Inspection - NYCM Insurance Blog

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Jan 4, 2023

How To Complete a Home Fire Extinguisher Inspection


A fire extinguisher is something that many people don’t think about purchasing until it’s too late. Unfortunately, just having a fire extinguisher in your home isn’t enough to guarantee it will be useful should you ever need it. Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly to make sure that they are ready for use. Continue reading to learn more about how to complete a proper fire extinguisher inspection.


Ensure Accessibility

During a fire, every second counts, and a fire extinguisher is no good to you if you aren't able to find it. It’s important to make sure your fire extinguisher is in a visible, unobstructed and designated location. You’ll also want to make sure that the instructions on the nameplate are legible and facing outward. Pro-tip: be sure to keep at least one fire extinguisher on each floor of your home.


Check Your Pressure Gauge

Most fire extinguishers have a pressure gauge that indicates whether or not the device is in the proper range for operating. You’ll want to check and make sure your fire extinguisher needle indicates the proper pressure. You might notice that your fire extinguisher has a test marker. You can use this by pressing down and looking to see if the pressure reading is as it should be.


Look For External Damage

External damage may indicate that your fire extinguisher no longer works and needs to be replaced. Be sure to  check the can, hoses, and nozzle for visible signs of damage, like dents or rust for example. Make sure the pull-pin is not missing and the pull-pin seal is intact.


Clean and Shake

Be sure to check the outside of the extinguisher for things like corrosion, leakage, dents, oil, or grease, and clean as needed. In addition to cleaning, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) recommends that you check your fire extinguisher for maintenance instructions. Some extinguishers need to be shaken monthly and/or pressure tested every few years. It’s important to note that on average fire extinguishers are good for five to fifteen years and will typically list an expiration date on the can.


Date the Maintenance Tag

The next-to-last step in your monthly fire extinguisher inspection is to date the paper maintenance tag. This will allow you to look back and know with certainty when your extinguisher was last checked.


Schedule Your Yearly Maintenance Inspection

It’s important to know that annual fire extinguisher maintenance inspections should be performed by a professional fire protection company. Companies like these will have the proper tools and training to ensure optimal compliance. They will also be able to recognize and correct potentially hazardous defects. If you need additional resources, you might consider reaching out to your local fire department for advice.


At NYCM Insurance, we know that protecting your home is a top priority. For more information about a home insurance policy with NYCM, check out the link below and speak with one of our trusted agents.