NFPA (National Fire Protection Agency) develops the standards for fire protection
and your state and local fire agencies adopt and enforce the standards.

How often do my fire extinguishers need to be inspected?

No more than 1 year.

Can I inspect my own fire extinguishers?

Monthly inspection are required by NFPA ( and should  be done by the owner
or designated agent (7.1.1).   Annual inspections and maintenance must be done by
a trained and certified person.

What is 6 year maintenance?

NFPA 10 7.3 requires that every six years that stored pressure fire extinguishers (the
most popular kind) be discharged, emptied, internally inspected, and that the
mechanical parts be replaced to ensure that the fire extinguisher is ready for service
when needed.

Why do my fire extinguishers have to be hydrotested?

Most common fire extinguishers are made of metal and over time can corrode or
weaken.  The NFPA requires that after 12 years of service these units be
hydrotested to ensure that the metal shell  is in good condition and can within the
pressure of the compressed nitrogen.

Is the “powder” inside my fire extinguisher dangerous?

Most common fire extinguisher’s agent is a dry powder that is not harmful but it is
considered to be a irritant and can cause burning of the eyes and throat.  It is
essential that fire extinguishers are used appropriately.

How do I know the proper maintenance has been performed on my fire

Any time a fire extinguisher has had 6 year maintenance or 12 year maintenance
(hydro-test) the company performing the maintenance is to place a non-removable
service collar around the neck of the fire extinguisher and a label place on the unit
with the type of maintenance and date of the service.