Dry Chemical Extinguishers: Inspection and Service Records


Stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers are by far the most popular extinguisher installed in most commercial and governmental buildings. NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers provides minimum requirements that must be followed for recordkeeping of inspections and servicing of these extinguishers. Here is what you need to know to make sure you are doing it right.

Monthly Inspections

The record for monthly quick check inspection of an extinguisher can be kept on a tag, on an inspection checklist, or electronically, such as on a computer [7.2.4]. By far, the most common method is on a tag attached to the extinguisher. Where a tag is used, the month and year of the inspection as well as the initials of the person performing the inspection must be recorded []. Records must be maintained to show that the last 12 inspections were performed [].

Maintenance and Recharging

The tag requirements for annual maintenance [7.3.4] and any recharging [] are similar. The tags must have the name of the servicing company, month and year of the work, and identification of the technician (initials). Records for the 6-year internal examination (teardown) are kept on an adhesive-backed label, measuring 2 x 3.5 inches []. Since the valve is removed for recharging and the 6-year teardown, a verification of service collar is required [7.11]. But make sure you perform the internal examination, as that is the purpose of the collar.

Hydrostatic Tests

Hydrostatic tests are performed on these extinguishers every 12 years [8.3.1]. Typically, these are low-pressure non-DOT-type cylinders and the record is kept on an adhesive-backed label, measuring 2 x 3.5 inches [8.7.2]. Since an internal examination is performed, a verification of service collar is also installed.

The authority having jurisdiction (AHJ) will be looking for these records, so your customers will appreciate your knowledge of the required records for inspection, maintenance, recharging, and hydrostatic testing of these extinguishers. Keeping accurate records, according to code, will not only keep your customers code compliant but will also satisfy the local AHJ.

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Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the above Tech Series article are the author’s only and provide limited information. Although the information is believed to be reliable, Brooks Equipment Company, LLC expressly disclaims any warranty with respect to the information and any liability for errors or omissions. The user of this article or the product(s) is responsible for verifying the information’s accuracy from all available sources, including the product manufacturer. The authority having jurisdiction should be contacted for code interpretations.