A third major concern that businesses must be aware of is empty or depressurized extinguishers. This is especially concerning, because the extinguisher is available and accessible, but when the user tries to fight the fire, the fire extinguisher does not function properly. A non-pressurized fire extinguisher is a code violation and an example of the type of concern the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection is meant to address. Unfortunately, it is a concern that is all to common as the 30-day fire extinguisher inspection leaves large windows of vulnerability (if they are performed at all).
As with missing and blocked fire extinguishers, it is easy to find depressurized (either through previous discharge or a slow leak) fire extinguishers in buildings. Here are some examples of depressurized or empty fire extinguishers I"ve found in the last few months:
Depressurized or Empty Fire Extinguishers
Sorry about the focus on this one, I was just getting used to my new iPhone
Empty or depressurized fire extinguishers are a serious life safety risk. They are meant to be identified and addressed during the monthy, 30-day fire extinguisher inspections. Unfortunately, only a small fraction of these inspections are actually performed and that puts lives at risk. The 30 day window between inspections also is a substantial concern. A much more effective method for complying with NFPA 10 is electronic monitoring of extinguishers which keeps track of the pressure in your extinguishers 24 X 7 X 365.