A hydrostatic test for a fire extinguisher is a National Fire Protection Association requirement. The full inspection and certification schedule is:
Well maintained fire extinguishers should last a long time. The NFPA and local authorities have determined if a fire extinguisher is 12 years (Manufacturers Date) or older it’s important to have the equipment hydro-tested (Hydrostatic Testing) or even replaced if the equipment is not in proper working order. It’s vital that the fire extinguisher be tested to make sure there are no cracks or leaks in the shell. A Fire can happen when you least expect it and those that are not prepared lose the most.
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Hydro Static testing consists of:
If your company is located in the US and you currently have Halon systems installed, note the following:
- 30-day physical inspection conducted by the owner for all types of extinguishers.
- An annual maintenance certification for all fire extinguishers (recharge if needed).
- A six-year comprehensive breakdown and recharge
- 12-year breakdown, hydrostatic test, and recharge
The hydrostatic test makes sure that the internal strength of the fire extinguisher is within specifications and that the container does not leak. Some fire extinguishers lose their ability to withstand pressure under the load in which it was designed. This can be caused by environmental effects such as weather, abuse and/ or vandalism or just the age of the fire extinguisher. For the majority of fire extinguishers a water jacket test is utilized for the hydrostatic test and official re-certification.