Common Questions about fire extinguishers answered

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Fire Extinguisher Cylinder – the same old red color cylinder you see in the buildings and railway stations. Yes, the one which is used to put down the fire. But how many of us have seen it being used? Nope, not in the movies or youtube videos. In real life? Very few of them actually.

Questions about fire extinguisher cylinder

We all are full of imagination that we might have created some scenarios in our head and would think what would happen if you drop it? Or simply open the nozzle and see if the pipe dance due to the pressure?

Today let us know what the commonly asked questions about fire extinguisher are.

What if someone drops a fire extinguisher?
Is it dangerous?

YES! It is dangerous. There is a chance that the fire extinguisher cylinder can burst. The cylinder has a pressurized gas with a fire extinguisher material filled in it. These are pressurized vessels. Cylinders contain a pressure of about 185 – 195 PSI when the extinguisher material is normally used ABC rated dry chemical fire extinguisher. Cylinders with CO2 extinguishers contain a pressure of 2000 PSI.

Dropping the cylinder can damage the integrity of the extinguisher hence, it is wise to keep the dropped cylinder at a safe and in a secluded area.

Simply call the fire equipment service personnel to take care of it.

There is a high possibility that dropping the cylinder can cause damage to the tube that is attached. To us, untrained eyes, this can go unnoticed. And it makes the cylinder useless.

So, if you or anyone you know knocks out the cylinder by mistake or even purposely, do not put it back on the wall mount. Inform the authoritative person to take care of it.

Why do the cylinders have a pin seal?
Why is it sealed?

How do you know your parcel or your sample is not hampered or not open? You check the seal right. Similarly, the seal on the pin is proof that the cylinder has not been used or has not tampered with since the last inspection or service.

The seal on the pin helps if you stay in place which can get loose and accidentally fall out.  The safety pin is the vital part one can say because if it is not in place the extinguisher can be partially be triggered.

The seal on the safety pin also has a date of the last time it was inspected. You should contact the fire equipment service if the cylinder you have is missing the safety pin.

When should be the fire extinguisher cylinder be inspected?
How frequently should it be done?

It is a good practice to keep things checked and monitored. If you’re working, someone at your workplace should be trained for inspection of fire extinguishers. It is recommended that the inspection should be done every month.

An inspection from a trained professional is to be done every year.

Can we use any extinguisher to put down the fire?

NO! Extinguishers are made with a different material that is used to put extinguish types of fire. Know more about the types of fire and types of fire extinguisher here.

For instance, a dry chemical fire extinguisher is not appropriate for a kitchen fire. This can make the situation worse. Fire from kitchens, especially those greasy cooktops can be extinguished by the extinguisher which suppresses Class K fire.

How would you know if a fire extinguisher is unsafe?

To a person who is not trained to check the fire extinguishers won’t be able to identify if it is safe or unsafe. It takes a trained and professional set of eyes and knowledge to know.

The common thing everyone can check is the ‘pressure gauge’. This is an indicator that helps you to understand the pressure that is available inside the cylinder.

The pressure gauge has a meter that shows 2 red zones and 1 green zone which is between them. If the indicator is on any of the 2 red zones you’ll have to connect with the equipment servicemen.

Check if the pic is in place or if it is lost, you’ll need to service it too. Also, if there are any dents or engravings on the body of the cylinder, it is possible that the cylinder needs replacement or immediate service.

These fire extinguisher cylinders are the first line defense systems to be safe from fire. One must be very careful with regularly inspecting and for the proper maintenance of the cylinders. This is the key to ensure that the fire extinguisher will be in a good condition.