Turning Archive 2005
JKJ in East TN
>I reviewed my fire extinguisher needs after reading about the shop fire disaster yesterday. I have six extinguishers in various places including the cars, but most are too small for the space and while they all still had good pressure, some were quite dated. My largest extinguisher was dated 1986. Pressure should be checked monthly. I probably didn't check it more than once a year, if that.
I did some quick research: fire extinguishers should be serviced every six years and hydro tested every 12 years. Without service (recharging), even with proper pressure the powder used in most extinguishers may become hardened or caked and the extinguisher may not function properly when needed. Nothing like the extinguisher failing to work the one and only time you absolutely have to have it.
Most of mine are also cheap extinguishers with plastic valves. These are the consumer models usually sold in Home Depot, etc. I understand that service companies cannot service these and consider them disposable. I also found references on the web to plastic valves degrading over time and cracking, slowly bleeding the pressure.
I visited a local fire extinguisher company and found quality reconditioned industrial fire extinguishers are reasonably priced. I picked up two 10ABC for $45 each and one 20ABC for $65.