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    Annual External Examination of Carbon Dioxide Fire Extinguishers

    By Mark Conroy

    NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers requires an external examination be performed on all carbon dioxide fire extinguishers annually. The following components are required to be examined as a minimum. Remove each carbon dioxide fire extinguisher from its hanger or cabinet to perform these checks.

    Pass Deficient Extinguisher and Components
        Extinguisher is not damaged, including no dents, repairs, or corrosion
        Hanger or cabinet is proper for extinguisher
        Hanger or cabinet is secure, undamaged, and properly mounted
        Nameplate operating instructions are secure, legible, and face outward
        Extinguisher is not subject to recall and is not obsolete
        Hydrostatic test is not due
        Pull pin functions properly and is not damaged or corroded
        Handle and lever is operable and undamaged
        Valve stem is extended and not corroded or damaged
        Tube/horn assembly or hose/horn assembly is unobstructed
        Tube/horn assembly or hose/horn assembly is correct for extinguisher
        Hose is not cut, cracked, damaged, or deformed
        Hose threads are not damaged
        Discharge port is not leaking or corroded
        Conductivity test on hose assembly indicates continuity of internal braid
        Safety relief assembly is not damaged or blocked
        Horn retention band is secure and properly adjusted
        Extinguisher weight corresponds to weight on nameplate

    Any fire extinguisher with a deficiency must have the deficiency corrected. Fire extinguishers that pass the annual external examination must be wiped clean and have the maintenance recorded.

    X Actions
      Reinstall ring pin and install a new tamper seal
      Clean extinguisher surfaces to remove foreign materialsClean extinguisher surfaces to remove foreign materials
      Record maintenance on extinguisher tag or label
      Affix conductivity test label to hose assemblies that pass conductivity test
      Return extinguisher to hanger or cabinet

    Once the external examination is complete, the fire extinguisher is ready for use. Proper external fire extinguisher examinations help ensure fire extinguishers are code compliant and will work as designed.

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