Fire extinguishers are a regular fixture in most homes, and a requirement for offices and commercial establishments across the country. Most people have a general idea of how to use a fire extinguisher, but what they might not know is that these items are rechargeable.
No, not like a phone, but recharged with their extinguishing material. Different extinguisher types have different recharging methods. For example, chemical extinguishers need to be dealt with carefully; refer to the label on the container to determine its type. These materials range from ABC dry chemical, K-Class extinguishers, carbon dioxide, Halitron, Purple-K, and water.
Of course, this information depends on whether or not your fire extinguisher is rechargeable or not. The best way of finding that out is tracking the store where you bought it from and inquire. On the other hand, if you’re familiar with your local firefighters, you can ask them, too.
A fire extinguisher recharge should be done immediately after use. The gauge near the handle of the extinguisher lets you know how much pressure is inside the container, which should tell you how full or empty it is. This only works, however, if you make a conscious effort to check the gauge, which isn’t very often.
It’s recommended to subject your fire extinguisher to inspection and maintenance every six years. This is the estimated amount of time noticeable drops in pressure will occur. A maintenance schedule that’s more frequent is also good, and in fact, recommended to encourage the habit.
Buying a rechargeable fire extinguisher is more cost-effective than a regular one. A normal fire extinguisher only has one use wherein you’re confident that it has enough material to douse a flame. Whereas, you’re always confident that with every recharge, you and your family are safe.
The most important thing to remember about recharging fire extinguishers, though, is to NEVER DO IT YOURSELF. Unless you’re a licensed fire fighter or a certified professional, you have no business handling the chemicals inside the extinguisher, much less fiddle with a pressurized metal canister full of it.
Safety is the only reason fire extinguishers exist. Don’t jeopardize that safety through foolishness or neglect.