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Three Things to Check on your Fire Extinguisher

March 23, 2012

We’ve been getting this question often lately:  What are the three things you should check on your fire extinguisher?

Good question!  These things seem obvious to us fire types, but fire extinguishers are there to be used by regular people, not firefighters.  So it helps to frame the issue a bit.  Some of you may remember Marshal Matt Dillon, the Sheriff of Dodge City in the old Gunsmoke TV show.  Well Marshal Dillon carried a pistol just about everywhere he went, in case he needed to enforce the law in the rugged west.  We recommend you look at your fire extinguisher as Marshal Dillon’s six-shooter (work with me here).

Marshal Dillon paid careful attention to three things on his six-shooter.  First of all he ensured the safety was on.  Old six-shooters had a half-cock setting to keep them from going off accidentally.  It’s tough to swagger around town with a limp because you accidentally blew a hole in your boot (that’s just tacky).  So Marshal Dillon used the safety on his six-shooter.  Your fire extinguisher has a safety pin and seal to keep it from being activated accidentally.  Without that safety pin, all someone has to do is lean on the handle and you’ve got yellow powder all over the place.  No one wants that!  So the first item to check on your extinguisher is whether the safety pin and seal are in place.

Marshal Dillon also made sure his six-shooter had bullets.  It makes no sense to face down an outlaw with an empty six-shooter.  Your fire extinguisher has a gauge to tell you if it’s charged or not.  Make sure the needle on the gauge is in the green.  Also, ensure the service tag shows that the extinguisher has been serviced in the past year.  That way you know the extinguisher is ready to go to work on a moment’s notice.

Lastly, Marshal Dillon made sure nothing was in the way of his holster.  Most gun slingers’ first move was to pull their coats back so they had ready access to their shooting irons.  The same thing applies to your fire extinguisher.  We sometimes find the fire extinguisher being used as a coat rack.  With a coat (or anything) blocking your fire extinguisher, you can’t find it and you don’t have quick access to it.

So there you go; three things to check on your fire extinguisher.  If you can keep your extinguisher ready, Marshal Dillon, Rowdy Yates and the entire cast of Silverado would be proud.

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One Comment
  1. its very informative and helpful blog for every person who might be in an emergency.

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