• Extinguishers: Service Collars are Required for Dry Chemical Extinguishers

    By Mark Conroy

    An extinguisher service collar is required to be installed whenever the extinguisher valve is removed for recharge or maintenance. The practice of installing service collars allows the owner or AHJ to verify that you have done your job. Here is what you need to know to stay code compliant by ensuring the collars you install are correct and the installation complies with NFPA 10, Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers.

    A service collar provides external visual proof that an extinguisher valve has been removed and that either recharging or an internal examination was likely performed. That means the extinguisher gets a collar for every recharge—and for the 6-year teardown and the 12-year hydrostatic test, since an internal examination is required for both [10, 7.11].

    The collar size is critical for compliance to NFPA 10. The right size collar must be selected so that it cannot be removed without first removing the valve and siphon tube [10, 7.11.1]. A missing, stretched-out, or cut collar indicates tampering. Also, always check the date on the collar during routine annual maintenance. Unless a hydro was just performed, the collar date must always be more recent than the date on the hydrostatic test label [10, A.7.11].

    There are four sizes of collars, which are color coded for convenient identification.

    Service Collar Sizes and Colors

    1 38 Inch Green SC1
    134 Inch Gray SC2
    218 Inch Blue SC3
    3116 Inch Violet SC4

    The month and year of service or recharge is recorded with a hand punch, so make sure you have an industrial or heavy-duty punch available for punching collars.

    The safety of extinguisher operators and building occupants depend on compliance to NFPA 10, so make sure you have an adequate supply of the right service collars, imprinted with the name of your company. That way you can install them, as required by NFPA 10, and the property owner and the AHJ will know the extinguishers you service are compliant and ready for use in the event of a fire emergency.

    Click Here to view a PDF version

    Mark Conroy is an engineer for BHC (Brooks and Commercial Fire) and a member of the NFPA 10 Technical Committee.

    ©2020 Brooks Equipment.

    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.