Does your facility or project have portable fire extinguishers or fall protection?

Do you need certified and competent personnel to perform the required regulatory inspections? Many of our clients rely on us to assist them with this and that is where Inter-Mountain Safety & Rescue, LLC can help!

Portable Fire Extinguisher Maintenance, Inspection and Testing

Employers must inspect, maintain and test all portable fire extinguishers in accordance with 29 CFR 1910.157(e) and (f).

Portable fire extinguishers must be visually inspected monthly per 29 CFR 1910.157(e)(2).

The maintenance requirements depend on the type of portable fire extinguisher:

Stored pressure or dry chemical type extinguishers do not require an annual internal examination.

Water or steam type fire extinguishers should be discharged, disassembled and inspected annually (NFPA 10, 4-4.1.1).

Dry chemical extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test are required to be emptied and subjected to applicable maintenance procedures every six years.

Non-refillable, disposable dry chemical extinguishers are exempt from this requirement (29 CFR 1910.157(e)(4))

For additional fire extinguisher maintenance, follow the manufacturer’s’ suggested maintenance procedure.

Hydrostatic Fire Extinguisher Testing

Hydrostatic testing of portable fire extinguishers is done to help protect against unexpected in-service failure. This can be caused by internal corrosion, external corrosion and damage from abuse, etc. Hydrostatic testing must be performed by trained personnel with proper test equipment and facilities. OSHA requires hydrostatic testing according to the following schedule:

Every Five Years

  • Soda acid (stainless steel shell)
  • Cartridge operated water and/or antifreeze
  • Stored pressure water and/or antifreeze
  • Wetting agent
  • Foam (stainless steel shell)
  • Aqueous Film Forming Foam (AFFF)
  • Loaded stream
  • Dry chemical with stainless steel
  • Carbon dioxide
Every Twelve Years

  • Dry chemical, stored pressure, with mild steel, brazed brass or aluminum shells
  • Dry chemical, cartridge or cylinder operated, with mild steel shells
  • Dry powder, cartridge or cylinder operated with mild steel shells

For each extinguisher that is hydrostatically tested, the employer must keep a record that includes:

  • The name of the person or agency who performed the last hydrostatic test, and the test date.
  • The signature of the person who performed the test.
  • The serial number or other identifier of the fire extinguisher that was tested.
  • This information should also be securely affixed to the tested extinguisher.

These records must be kept until the extinguisher is hydrostatically re-tested or until the extinguisher is taken out of service, whichever comes first.

Fall Protection Inspection

Keeping your fall protection equipment in tip-top shape is a critically important task. As a part of that process, regular inspections are probably the best way to keep a close eye on your gear and allow you to take action if a problem is found. What does “regular” mean though?

OSHA 1926.502(d)(21):

Personal fall arrest systems shall be inspected prior to each use for wear, damage and other deterioration, and defective components shall be removed from service.

ANSI A10.32-2012:

All fall protection equipment shall be inspected at least every six months after initial service by a competent person.

ANSI Z359:

Equipment shall be inspected by the user before each use and, additionally, by a competent person other than the user at intervals of no more than one year.


Inspection criteria for equipment shall be set by the users’ organization, but shall equal or exceed the greater of the criteria established by the standard or the manufacturer’s instructions.

The bottom line is simple. Inspect your gear, personally, before every use and at least once a year (or more frequently if required by the manufacturer) have your gear inspected by a Competent Person. This is where Inter-Mountain Safety & Rescue, LLC can help! We will come to you and have our competent person inspect your equipment. Then, we will provide you a report on each piece of equipment for your records.

Taking Safety

To New Heights

Need a little help ensuring your safety and health program is what you need to be safe and successful? Call us anytime. We truly enjoy helping you safely achieve your goals!