If you are planning on updating your fire safety plan in your home or small business, you should install some fire extinguishers on your premises. These devices can suppress small fires, preventing personal injuries and property damage. Unfortunately, a fire extinguisher can fail to perform as expected during an emergency. Often, these problems can be attributed to negligence. Here are some simple tips to help you avoid fire extinguisher malfunctions and subsequent disasters.

Commission Inspections

You should have your fire extinguishers inspected regularly, according to the recommendations from the manufacturer. This examination of the device is designed to help in identifying problems which could interfere with its function during an emergency. Typically, the inspector will check for physical damage to the canister. For example, dents, rust spots and ripped hoses are signs of significant damage. You should note that it is possible to conduct the assessments without a professional. However, if you notice anomalies, you should engage an expert to help you determine whether you should replace the device.

Monitor the Pressure

The extinguishing materials in a fire extinguisher are stored under high pressure or in a compressed mass. When the nozzle of the device is released during a fire emergency, the extinguishing medium will be propelled out efficiently due to the pressure or compression. Unfortunately, the pressure of the container can reduce over time. For instance, the extinguisher could have a leak or the media might have expired due to a prolonged storage period. It is important to check the pressure gauge to ensure that the extinguisher is functioning as expected. Typically, fire extinguishers have a needle pointing in the gauge to indicate whether the unit is still usable or not.

Learn Correct Usage

Your fire extinguisher might fail to deliver the expected results if you are not familiar with the correct usage method for the container. Therefore, you should learn how to utilise the unit with efficiency in case of an emergency. In general, fire extinguishers will have a clear outline of the instructions. However, it is prudent to get familiar with the steps to avoid panicking during a fire. Fortunately, a standard portable fire extinguisher is quite easy to use. You will need to pull the pin which unlocks the operating lever. Then, you should aim the hose at the base of the fire, squeeze the operating lever and spray the extinguishing medium while sweeping from side to side.

Finally, you should ensure that the fire extinguisher is placed in an accessible spot for easy access during an emergency.