FIRE EXTINGUISHER INSPECTION PROGRAM
buildings on the main campus of the University of Houston have
approximately 6,000 fire extinguishers in place for use by
building occupants. The fire code requires a fire extinguisher
to be within 75 feet travel distance from any point in a
building. Most of these extinguishers are the multi-purpose ABC
type extinguishers. Commercial kitchens on campus also have a
class K extinguisher for fires involving grease. Laboratories
with combustible metals utilize class D extinguishers since
water or other agents will not extinguish these types of fires.
The UH Fire Marshal’s Office employs one Fire Safety Technician
to inspect and maintain the campus fire extinguishers. His job
requires that he inspect all 6,000 fire extinguishers twice a
year. This biannual inspection entails inspecting the
extinguisher for damage, checking the pressure gauge, hose, and
six year maintenance date. If any extinguisher is found to be at
the six year maintenance date, that extinguisher is taken out of
service and replaced.
Any extinguisher at the six year maintenance date requires an
internal inspection. This inspection requires disassembly of the
extinguisher, removal of extinguishing agent, external and
internal inspection and cleaning of the tank and all internal
parts, refilling and recharging of the extinguisher.
Every twelve years extinguishers require a hydrostatic test of
the tank. This is the only maintenance that the university does
not perform in house. These extinguishers receive a six year
disassembly and inspection by UH’s Fire Safety Technician prior
to being sent to a vendor for hydrostatic testing. After testing
is complete, the returned extinguisher tanks are reassembled and
In addition, meticulous records of all service, maintenance, and
inspections performed on all fire extinguishers must be kept.
Fire extinguishers are often the first line of defense when
fires are in the incipient stage. When properly maintained and
used they can save lives and property.