ICW Group mySafetyNews.com
Printed from www.mysafetynews.com - Your Risk Management Resource
Home > All categories, Safety programs, Workplace safety > Fire Extinguishers Inspection, Maintenance and Testing

Risk management blog

Fire Extinguishers Inspection, Maintenance and Testing

- January 17, 2014 by Jason Rozar (View all posts by Jason)

As I visit many of my clients, I randomly will inspect their portable fire extinguishers as we tour the facility. During these inspections I have found that many of my clients are not in compliance with the OSHA standard 1910.157 even though they have their extinguishers serviced annually.

The standard states, “The employer shall be responsible for the inspection, maintenance and testing of all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace.”

The following is a quick summary of the requirements for Inspection, Maintenance & Service:

  • Portable extinguishers or hose shall be inspected monthly. Many times the fire extinguisher will have a monthly sign off on the back of the inspection tag that can be used to document the monthly inspection.
  • The employer shall assure that portable fire extinguishers are subjected to an annual maintenance check. Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination.
  •  The employer shall record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less.
  • The employer shall assure that stored pressure dry chemical extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test are emptied and subjected to applicable maintenance procedures every 6 years. Dry chemical extinguishers having non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. When recharging or hydrostatic testing is performed, the 6-year requirement begins from that date.

Remember these are OSHA’s guidelines; you will still need to check with your local fire protection agency to ensure that their local requirements under the NFPA are the same as OSHA’s. If the NFPA requirements are different you must follow the more stringent of the two standards.


“29 CFR 1910.157 – Portable Fire Extinguishers.” Osha.gov. U.S. Department of Labor, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, 7 November 2002. Web. 10 January, 2014.  < https://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9811>