CHECKLIST: Portable Fire Extinguishers

MyTPG Blog
Published: 08/26/20 8:00 AM

CHECKLIST: Portable Fire Extinguishers

This article was published on: 08/26/20 8:00 AM




To make sure your portable fire extinguishers comply with OSHA requirements, consider the following checklist.


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This checklist is merely a guideline. It is neither meant to be exhaustive nor meant to be construed as legal advice. It does not address all potential compliance issues with federal, state or local standards. Consult your licensed commercial property and casualty representative at TPG Insurance Services or legal counsel to address possible compliance requirements.

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GENERAL REQUIREMENTS YES NO
Are portable fire extinguishers provided and mounted, located and identified so that they are readily accessible to employees without subjecting the employees to possible injury?1910.157(c)(1)
Are only approved portable fire extinguishers used?1910.157(c)(2)
Do you avoid providing or using portable fire extinguishers that use carbon tetrachloride or chlorobromomethane extinguishing agents?1910.157(c)(3)
Are portable fire extinguishers maintained, fully charged, operating properly and kept in designated places at all times except during use?1910.157(c)(4)
Have you removed from service all soldered or riveted shell, self-generating soda acid or self-generating foam or gas cartridge, water type portable fire extinguishers that are operated by inverting the extinguisher to rupture the cartridge or to initiate an uncontrollable pressure-generating chemical reaction to expel the agent?1910.157(c)(5)
Note: A mark in the “NO” column indicates corrective action is needed.
SELECTION AND DISTRIBUTION
YES
NO
Are portable fire extinguishers provided for employee use and selected and distributed based on the classes of anticipated workplace fires and on the size and degree of hazard that would affect their use?1910.157(d)(1)
Is the travel distance for employees to any Class A extinguisher 75 feet (22.9 m) or less?1910.157(d)(2)
Are you aware that you may use uniformly spaced standpipe systems or hose stations connected to a sprinkler system, installed for emergency use by employees instead of Class A portable fire extinguishers, provided that such systems meet the respective requirements of 1910.158 or 1910.159, that they provide total coverage of the area to be protected, and that employees are trained at least annually in their use?1910.157(d)(3)
Is the travel distance for employees to any Class B extinguisher 50 feet (15.2 m) or less?1910.157(d)(4)
Is the travel distance for employees to any Class C extinguisher based on the pattern for the existing Class A or Class B extinguishers?1910.157(d)(5)
Is the travel distance for employees from the combustible metal working area to any Class D extinguisher 75 feet (22.9 m) or less? Portable fire extinguishers for Class D hazards are required in areas where combustible metal powders, flakes, shavings or similarly sized products are generated at least once every two weeks.1910.157(d)(6)
Are all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace inspected, maintained and tested?1910.157(e)(1)
Are portable fire extinguishers or hoses visually inspected every month?1910.157(e)(2)
Is an annual maintenance check performed on portable fire extinguishers? Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. The employer must 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 record must be available to the Assistant Secretary upon request.1910.157(e)(3)
Are dry chemical extinguishers (that require a 12-year hydrostatic test) emptied and maintained every six years? Dry chemical extinguishers that have non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. When recharging or hydrostatic testing is performed, the six-year requirement begins from that date.1910.157(e)(4)
Is alternate equivalent protection provided when portable fire extinguishers are removed from service for maintenance and recharging?1910.157(e)(5)
Note: A mark in the “NO” column indicates corrective action is needed.
SELECTION AND DISTRIBUTIONYESNO
Is hydrostatic testing performed by trained persons with suitable testing equipment and facilities?1910.157(d)(1)
Are portable extinguishers hydrostatically tested at the intervals listed in Table L-1 of this section, except under any of the following conditions?
When the unit has been repaired by soldering, welding, brazing or use of patching compounds1910.157(f)(2)(i)
When the cylinder or shell threads are damaged1910.157(f)(2)(ii)
When there is corrosion that has caused pitting, including corrosion under removable name plate assemblies1910.157(f)(2)(iii)
When the extinguisher has been burned in a fire1910.157(f)(2)(iv)
When a calcium chloride extinguishing agent has been used in a stainless steel shell1910.157(f)(2)(v)
Have you conducted an internal examination of cylinders and shells to be tested prior to the hydrostatic tests?1910.157(f)(3)
Are portable fire extinguishers hydrostatically tested whenever they show new evidence of corrosion or mechanical injury, except under the conditions listed in paragraphs (f)(2)(i)-(v) of this section?1910.157(f)(4)
Are hydrostatic tests performed on extinguisher hose assemblies that are equipped with a shut-off nozzle at the discharge end of the hose? The test interval must be the same as specified for the extinguisher.1910.157(f)(5)
Are carbon dioxide hose assemblies hydrostatically tested with a shut-off nozzle at 1,250 psi (8,620 kPa)?1910.157(f)(6)
Are dry chemical and dry powder hose assemblies hydrostatically tested with a shut-off nozzle at 300 psi (2,070 kPa)? Hose assemblies passing a hydrostatic test do not require any type of recording or stamping.1910.157(f)(7), 1910.157(f)(8)
Are hose assemblies tested for carbon dioxide extinguishers within a protective cage device?1910.157(f)(9)
Are carbon dioxide extinguishers and nitrogen or carbon dioxide cylinders used with wheeled extinguishers tested every five years at 5/3 of the service pressure as stamped into the cylinder? Nitrogen cylinders that comply with 49 CFR 173.34(e)(15) may be hydrostatically tested every 10 years.1910.157(f)(10)
Are stored pressure and Halon 1211 types of extinguishers hydrostatically tested at the factory test pressure, not to exceed two times the service pressure?1910.157(f)(11)
Are self-generating type soda acid and foam extinguishers tested at 350 psi (2,410 kPa)?1910.157(f)(12)
Is the use of air or gas pressure for hydrostatic testing avoided?1910.157(f)(13)
Have you removed extinguisher shells, cylinders or cartridges that fail a hydrostatic pressure test, or that are not fit for testing?1910.157(f)(14)
Is the equipment for testing compressed gas type cylinders of the water jacket type? Does the equipment have an expansion indicator that operates with an accuracy within 1 percent of the total expansion or .1cc (.1mL) of liquid?1910.157(f)(15)(i)
Does the equipment for testing non-compressed gas type cylinders include the following?
     A hydrostatic test pump, hand- or power-operated, capable of producing at least 150 percent of the test pressure, which must include appropriate check valves and fittings1910.157(f)(15)(ii)(A)
     A flexible connection for attachment to fittings to test through the extinguisher nozzle, test bonnet or hose outlet, as is applicable1910.157(f)(15)(ii)(B)
     A protective cage or barrier for personal protection of the tester, designed to provide visual observation of the extinguisher under test1910.157(f)(15)(ii)(C)
Do you maintain and provide upon request to the Assistant Secretary evidence that the required hydrostatic testing of fire extinguishers has been performed at the time intervals shown in Table L-1? Such evidence must be in the form of a certification record that includes the date of the test, the signature of the person who performed the test and the serial number, or other identifier, of the fire extinguisher that was tested. Such records must be kept until the extinguisher is hydrostatically retested at the time interval specified in Table L-1 or until the extinguisher is taken out of service, whichever comes first.1910.157(f)(16)
Note: A mark in the “NO” column indicates corrective action is needed.

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