The guide below shows some of the components and checks carried out during a fire extinguisher service and details why it is important that these checks are carried out regularly.
The tamper seal performs two functions; holding the safety pin in place and providing a visual indication that the safety pin has not been removed so the extinguisher couldn’t have been discharged using the handle.
The needle in the gauge can sometimes stick due to damage or moisture. This means that the extinguisher could have lost pressure completely but the gauge would still show the needle in the green indicating that it is fully pressurised.
If the body of the fire extinguisher shows signs of corrosion, dents, gouges etc. it could be dangerous. There is a possibility that the extinguisher could burst, releasing all of its stored pressure instantly and severely injure the user.
The extinguisher must also display certain information on the label in regards to its operation, ratings, refilling etc. If any of this text is no longer legible the extinguisher will be condemned.
If the hose is damaged, torn, frayed etc. there is a possibility that it will leak during discharge. If all of the extinguishant (foam, water, powder etc.) is not reaching the fire due to a leak then the extinguisher will have a lower rating than stated on the cylinder and will be less effective.