I want to test my fire extinguisher. Can I discharge a little bit?

No. Discharging even a little bit of your fire extinguisher could cause a drop in pressure that may render the extinguisher useless. In fact, if any amount of extinguishant is discharged, you should replace or recharge that extinguisher right away.

Most fire extinguishers should have a pressure gauge with a red section and a green section. If the needle is in the green, you’re good. If your extinguishers don’t have a pressure gauge and you want to test them, press in the pin. If it pops back up, the extinguisher is pressurized. If it doesn’t, call Confires right away!

If you do want to test your fire extinguisher:

First, make sure your fire extinguishers are in the right places and are easy to see and access during a fire. You should also make sure everyone in your building knows exactly where the fire extinguishers are so everyone can reach them quickly and easily in the event of an emergency.

Next, ensure that the locking pin and tamper seal are intact and in good condition. While you’re doing this, make sure there is no obvious physical damage, corrosion or leakage on the shell of the extinguisher, and make sure the nozzle is not clogged.

After this, make sure the pressure gauge reads full, with the needle on the gauge in the green. Don’t forget to lift the fire extinguisher to make completely sure it’s full. If it’s a dry powder fire extinguisher, give it a little shake to make sure the contents don’t get impacted.

Next, check the tag on the fire extinguisher. All fire extinguishers must be professionally inspected and tagged once a year by a licensed fire protection services company. If it has been 12 months or more since the date of your last professional fire extinguisher inspection, call a fire protection services company.

Finally, initial and date the back of the tag to state that you performed your fire extinguisher inspection.