Fire Extinguishers : What to look for?

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Following the previous issues on fire and fire safety we’ve received a number of calls about what to look at when inspecting fire extinguishers.

This newsletter is in response to those requests to ensure we deliver the information you are looking for!

Due to the conditions we work in it’s important that you check your fire extinguishers regularly and not just wait until they are due for servicing.

In this issue I’ve outlined what to look for to ensure your fire extinguishers are in the best condition and ready for use when needed. Note that this applies not only to vessels but also land based operations!

Are they charged?

It’s amazing how often I get onboard and check fire extinguishers only to discover that they are not charged. This can lead to disaster if a fire breaks out.

The 2 most common extinguishers onboard vessels are:

Dry Chemical: It’s a simple matter to check the gauge on Dry Chemical extinguishers

CO2: These need to be weighed to establish if they are full or empty

Checking the canister!

Rust is a major issue for fire extinguishers onboard vessels and in locations around the waterfront and should be monitored regularly. The following photos identify rust areas.

When you see rust like this you need to replace the extinguisher immediately.

Dents are another major issue. These are caused by dropping the extinguisher or things coming into contact with the extinguisher. Dents like in the picture below are potential leak points and the extinguisher should be replaced as soon as possible.

Check the nozzle

It pays to inspect the nozzle for anything that may be inside it and present a potential problem when using the extinguisher. Insects such as wasps have been know to build nests in fire extinguisher nozzles.

The diagram below provides a guide to other items you should check on a regular basis.


Shorlink’s Recommendation

It’s simple, undertaking regular inspections of your fire extinguishers is highly recommended to ensure you have the extinguisher fully charged and in good condition in the event of a fire.

Remember, every second a fire is not dealt with makes it that much harder to extinguish and puts the vessel and all persons onboard in danger



Make sure they are easily accessible at all times and…don’t use them as a cloths hook or stack gear all around them because if you need them you’ll need them quickly.

If you would like more information about doing the 6 month service yourself contact our office and we’ll be gald to give you all the details. We also have all the forms required!