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Fire extinguishers in the food processing industry...

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Posted 21 September 2017 - 04:56 PM

I have been on the phone with OSHA for the past twenty minutes (on hold) .... I am trying to find out if it is a requirement that our plant bring in a service to inspect our fire extinguishers on a monthly basis or do we do a monthly in house visual inspection and have the service come in annually ??

Help ?


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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:10 PM



OSHA is quoted below.  There is more about inspections and testing in relevant sections.  One of the reasons you should inspect the devices monthly is an OSHA rule that requires you to take action if there is an obvious, visual defect with the fire extinguisher.  The cards hanging on the fire extinguishers are used by the service to typically hole-punch the date of their inspection and testing.  The other side of the card is good for a properly trained maintenance person to initial and date their monthly inspections.  If you can, contact a training service to provide an opportunity for the employees to do hands-on fire extinguisher use.  Lots of fun and the training drives home all the right messages about fire extinguisher usage and limitations.  If you happen to be in California do not assume this is the end of the regulations.  Cal-OSHA has even more!


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 record shall be available to the Assistant Secretary upon request.


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.


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Posted 21 September 2017 - 11:13 PM

OSHA requires a visual inspection of all portable extinguishers be performed at least monthly, but there is no clear definition on what documentation is required. In general there is a tag that is attached to each extinguisher. This tag needs to be filled out each month. OSHA however has a mandatory annual inspections and periodic maintenance inspections requirement that do have to be documented.

Hope this helps 





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Posted 27 September 2017 - 06:52 PM

We added fire extinguishers onto our monthly food safety audit checklist and then annually an outside company comes in and inspects, tests, and certifies them for another year. OSHA and our local fire department are ok with this method. Our outside inspection company did a free in-service for our staff once which was well received. Cover yourself for safety and keep it simple.



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Posted 27 September 2017 - 08:36 PM

Most of our clients visually check the gauges and condition on their pre-op (daily) with annual testing/recharging.

Kind regards,
Glenn Oster
GOC BUSINESS GROUP | SQF System Development, Implementation & Certification Consultants
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Visit us @ http://www.GlennOster.com  or call us @ 772.646.4115 US-EST 8am-4pm Anyday except Thursday

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