Extinguisher Service Center
Fire Extinguisher Inspections and Maintenance
All fire extinguishers are required to have a yearly inspection performed by a certified technician employed by a certified shop. On Site Fire Protection can perform these inspections plus recharges, maintenance, and repairs. Stop by our Argyll Road location today to have your extinguishers inspected while you wait, or drop them off for pickup at your convenience. We also perform On Site inspections, click here for details.
Volume rates are available for Fire Extinguisher inspections at our main service center on Argyll Road as low as $5 each, with cost control price caps for maintenance and repair. If you've got palletized or crated batches of fire extinguishers requiring service, this is the maintenance program for you. Conditions apply. See the flyer here or Call for details.
Portable fire extinguishers must be inspected by a certified technician employed by a certified shop a minimum of once every 12 months. It only takes a couple minutes to inspect and certify a Portable Fire Extinguisher and our Argyll Road service center normally has at least one portable extinguisher technician available to quickly re-certify one or two extinguishers while you wait. It is however generally best to call ahead and make sure everyone is not out performing facility inspections or making deliveries. If maintenance or repair is needed even small orders will usually go in the queue, but loaners or swap-and-go service may be available.
The most common type of Portable Fire Extinguisher is the Dry Chemical Stored Pressure, and it requires an internal inspection every 6 years, and a hydro-static pressure test every 12 years. Other less common types will require hydro-static pressure testing at 5 year intervals. We can perform most of this maintenance, as well as recharging after use in our Fire Extinguisher Service Center.
Normal turn-around for in shop work is approximately one week, but depends on demand. Drop-off and pick-up is at the side of the shop for large orders, or in the front showroom for small orders. When an extinguisher is left for certification it is with the understanding that maintenance and repairs will be performed if needed. The client will be notified by phone or email when the order is complete and ready for pickup.
Pick-up and drop-off service at your facility is available for an additional charge.
Maintenance vs Repairs
Rates for standard types of maintenance include all normally replaced parts and labels, as well as inspection/certification. Repairs are charged in addition to maintenance when needed. Common items in this category are: Hose Bands, Pull Pins, Valve Stems, HMIS Labels, Handles and Levers. We have a maximum capped charge for Maintenance + Repairs which is equivalent to the purchase price of a new extinguisher that size, to prevent a client from paying more for service than a replacement would cost.
Recharge vs Refill
Recharging a dry chemical portable extinguisher refers to the process of cleaning and lubricating the valve assembly, and replacing the nitrogen propellant. This is done after maintenance is performed, or if the valves did not seal properly and the pressure leaked out.
Refilling a dry chemical portable extinguisher is performed in addition to a recharge, and refers to replacing the dry chemical powder if it has been used. This chemical is billed as a part by the pound in addition to the recharge rate. When performing maintenance(6-year or hydro-testing), the powder in the extinguisher is captured and reused, and so there is no additional charge unless the extinguisher was also used.
On Site Fire Protection includes the first 5 pounds of dry chemical at no cost on all recharges. This means an empty 5lb extinguisher would only be billed for the recharge, while an empty 20lb extinguisher would be billed for 15lbs of powder in addition to the recharge.
Rules of Thumb & FAQ
NOTE: These are general rules for informational purposes only. Consult with a certified Portable Fire Extinguisher Technician for any specific questions, or determining appropriate coverage for your facility.
Start at the exits and work your way in. That means doors and, on upper floors, the top of stairwells. A minimum of one extinguisher per level is required(including shop mezzanines). Small shops may only require one extinguisher, but it is still good practice to have one at each exit. After the exits are covered, check walking distance; from any point within the building there should be an extinguisher within 75 ft walking distance(not direct line) for low hazard environments or 50 ft for higher hazard environments. Size of extinguisher will be based on how much burnable stuff(fuel load) is in the area, and how easily burnable(flammability) that stuff is.
Extinguishers must be VISIBLE and ACCESSIBLE. This mean you must put them somewhere easy to get at(nothing in front of them) and easy to see from a distance. If they are not easily visible, then you will need signage to point them out. They cannot be left on the floor, and must be in a cabinet or mounted to the wall. The top of the extinguisher cannot be more than 5 ft from the ground, and heavy ones should be about waist height.
I only used a little bit, do I need to recharge it?
YES. Even if the needle is still in the green section, you still need to bring it in. The common dry chemical extinguishers use Nitrogen as propellant, and yellow powder to put the fire out. When you use the extinguisher the powder gets stuck in the valve assembly, holding it slightly open. The remaining nitrogen propellant will leak out slowly over the following weeks. Part of the recharging process includes cleaning all this up so the valve will seal properly again.
Do I need to shake it up?
If it is mounted in a building, it should be fine, the powder should not compact enough just sitting there to cause a problem. If it is in a vehicle, it is not a bad idea to loosen the powder regularly, as the vibration can pack the powder down. DO NOT HIT IT WITH A HAMMER. Turning it upside down and shaking gently should be enough, you should be able to hear and/or feel the powder shifting.
Fire Extinguishers are a pressure vessel, and should not be thrown into the garbage. Eco stations will usually accept single units from private citizens. Businesses or citizens with multiple Fire Extinguishers to dispose of should bring the Fire Extinguishers to a shop that can properly discharge and disassemble the Fire Extinguishers, and then recycle the metal components. On Site Fire Protection accepts Fire Extinguishers for disposal at our Argyll Road location, and charges a $15 fee per Fire Extinguisher to cover the labor for discharge and disassembly.