What is involved in doing a 6-year maintenance or a hydro test on a fire extinguisher?

To do a 6-year maintenance, the extinguishing agent is removed from the extinguisher.  A close examination of the inside of the extinguisher is done to look for rust or weakness in the extinguisher.  The parts are cleaned and the o-ring is replaced.  After that, the powder or agent is put back in and the extinguisher is recharged.  The tags and appropriate labels are attached.

To do a hydrostat test, all of the above steps are done, plus the additional step of putting the extinguisher under water pressure to look for weakness in the cylinder.

Why should you have your fire extinguisher inspected yearly?

Annual inspections are required by NFPA 10 law.  The Federal fire code clearly states the regulations pertaining to fire protection.

Companies need to know that their extinguishers are working properly.  Over the period of one year, extinguishers can leak down, be damaged or even lost or stolen.  The annual inspection will catch those issues and let the appropriate person know.

If you have an injury at your business, an attorney may look at the overall safety of your business.  If your extinguishers are not kept up to date, that attorney could make a case that you don’t operate a safe workplace.  This happens a lot more than you might think.

Do you have to be licensed to inspect and recharge a fire extinguisher?

By law, companies are required to use a licensed and insured fire protection company. Each state has its own certification process. The fire department does not certify or recharge fire extinguishers.