When Should You Recharge a Fire Extinguisher?

Posted on: March 23rd, 2011

We probably should not admit this right here in the first sentence, but this whole blog post can be summed up in one sentence: you should recharge your fire extinguisher immediately after you use it, every time you use it. The only way you can be sure that your fire extinguisher will be able to protect you is by keeping it well maintained at all times. Even if you only use a tiny bit of extinguishant, getting that  fire extinguisher recharged afterwards is a must – the escaped pressure and the few milliseconds-worth of extinguishant lost could dramatically reduce the effectiveness of your fire extinguisher.

In addition to recharging your fire extinguisher after every use, you should have it recharged during routine annual fire extinguisher inspections. Many times these inspections involve expelling all of the extinguishing agent to check for proper discharging mechanisms and pressure gauge readings. Therefore, each fire extinguisher inspection should end with a fire extinguisher recharge.

How can you tell if you need fire extinguisher recharge?

The easiest way to find out if you need to recharge your fire extinguisher is by performing regular fire extinguisher self inspections. First thing you should do is to look at the gauge – is it in the “OK” zone or does the gauge say to recharge the extinguisher?  When you’re checking your building’s fire extinguishers, pay close attention to their weight. If one of your fire extinguishers feels lighter than it should be, make sure you have it recharged immediately – someone may have accidentally discharged it and did not inform anyone, so it may not be capable of keeping your building protected from fires.

Can you do your own fire extinguisher recharging?

Fire extinguisher recharging requires a fire extinguisher recharge unit, a supply of whatever extinguishing agent you need (dry chemical, water, CO2, Halon, etc.) and training on how to properly refill and repressurize your fire extinguisher. While it may technically be possible to do this on your own – it’s not very practical.  You have a business to run! Most people in the Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC area find that hiring a professional fire protection services company to recharge their fire extinguishers is more economical, both in time and money. A reliable fire protection company will already have the equipment, materials and training to make sure your fire extinguisher recharge is done correctly and guarantee that your fire extinguisher will work in the event of a fire.

Whether you choose to hire a fire protection services company to recharge your fire extinguisher or if you do it yourself, one thing you should always watch out for is to make sure the needle in the pressure gauge is in the green zone. This is the best way to ensure that the fire extinguisher recharge went well and your fire extinguisher is ready to protect you in the event of a fire.

Making sure your fire extinguisher is properly recharged is crucially important to ensuring that your fire extinguisher will work properly at all times. If you need fire extinguisher recharge in New Jersey, Delaware of Philadelphia, call Confires Fire Protection today!