NSC expo
Subscribe or Register
View Cart  

Earn recertification points from the Board of Certified Safety Professionals by taking a quiz about this issue.

What's Your Opinion?

Has an employer ever asked you to do something that violated your code of ethics as a safety professional?

Take the poll and add your comment.

Vote   Results

Get the news that's
important to you.

Sign up for Safety+Health’s free monthly newsletters on:

  • Construction
  • Health Care Workers
  • Manufacturing
  • Mining, Oil and Gas
  • Office Safety Tips
  • Transportation
  • Worker Health and Wellness
  • Subscribe today
    Safety Tips | Fire safety

    Keep extinguishers in working order

    October 1, 2011

    • / Print
    • Reprints
    • Text Size:
      A A

    Portable fire extinguishers can be vital in preventing a small fire from turning into a major catastrophe. But the devices provide no protection if they are not properly maintained. OSHA offers the following rules regarding fire extinguishers:

    • The employer is responsible for maintaining and testing all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace.
    • Extinguishers or hoses must be visually inspected at least once a month.
    • A full maintenance check should be performed on all extinguishers at least once annually, and records of this check should be kept for one year.
    • Dry chemical extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test should be emptied for full maintenance every six years. Extinguishers with non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. 
    • Hydrostatic testing should be performed by trained individuals with suitable testing equipment and facilities.
    • When portable extinguishers are removed for maintenance or recharging, the employer must provide an alternative that offers equal protection.

    Post a comment to this article

    Safety+Health welcomes comments that promote respectful dialogue. Please stay on topic. Comments that contain personal attacks, profanity or abusive language – or those aggressively promoting products or services – will be removed. We reserve the right to determine which comments violate our comment policy.