In many situations a fire extinguisher can be the difference between life and death. A new state study found more Tennesseans have died in accidental house fires than tornadoes or floods.
Assistant Fire Marshal Mike Hill with the Johnson City Fire Department explains that a fire extinguisher is a first line of defense against fires. That’s why we see them in schools, public buildings , apartment complexes, and even homes. The question remains, is your fire extinguisher in good working order if the time came to use it?
Hill says you can avoid asking this question by doing a monthly check and the first thing to look at is the gauge. “Gauges on fire extinguishers will have a green area and that green area marks what is an ideal area for pressurization and content of the extinguisher,” says Hill.
Then you should look for a tag that will have the service date with a hole punch or a written date when it was last serviced.
The last thing you should look for is the safety pin and seal, “if one of those items are missing there’s a chance someone has tampered with the extinguisher or its been used already”. A good rule of thumb Hill says is if an extinguisher has already been used, then it should be replaced.
Another recommendation when doing your monthly check is to turn the extinguisher upside down a few times so the powder inside can move from one end to the other.
Hill suggests when storing an extinguisher in a home you should have one in your laundry room, kitchen, and garage.
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