What does it mean that a fire extinguisher is tagged? And must all fire extinguishers be tagged?

To answer simply, a tagged fire extinguisher is one that bears a fire tag. And yes, all fire extinguishers must be tagged.

But we’re getting ahead of ourselves.

In this post, we’re going to go right to the beginning and talk about all things related to the fire extinguisher tags. Make sure you read till the end for our best-kept fire extinguisher tips.

Without further ado, let’s dive right on in.

What is a Fire Tag?

A fire tag is a detailed label that is attached to a fire extinguisher. This marker is placed on the canister by a certified fire inspector after an assessment.

The ticket stores the inspection observations and results. The assessment is mandated by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA) and serves to ensure that fire extinguishers on any given premise are in working order.

Is it Necessary for Fire Extinguishers to be Tagged?

Whether you have a fire extinguisher for your home, car, or business, the NFPA requires that each extinguisher is tagged. This means all fire extinguishers must be routinely checked. This is often carried out,

·         On a monthly basis

·         On an annual basis

·         Every six years

·         Periodically – a hydrostatic material inspection

Monthly inspections

These are visual inspections of fire extinguishers. As the homeowner, you can perform the check yourself. However, within a company, the safety personnel bear the responsibility of assessment. The month and year are noted on the fire tag alongside the initials of the person who conducted the inspection

Monthly assessments confirm whether the canisters are in good working condition and are being stored correctly. You’re checking for damage, blockage in the hose, charge pressure, and the state of the safety seal.

Annual inspections

These are more in-depth and require a certified fire inspector to conduct them. This is because they must check the mechanical parts, the canister’s delivery system and the fire-fighting agent.

All findings must be noted down on the fire tag including the agency and inspection month and date.

Six-year inspections

These are similar to the annual fire extinguisher checks. What differentiates them is that in six-year inspections, pressurized extinguishers are emptied of their fire-suppressing agents before the examination.

After the internal assessment, they are refilled, re-pressurized and tagged with a tamper-resistant seal.

The six-year observations must all be written onto the fire tag. And on a different metallic label that’s attached to the canister, the same inspections must be recorded.

Hydrostatic materials inspections

Specialist fire professionals carry out hydrostatic inspections in the following manner. 

  1. Water, CO2, and wet-chemical fire extinguishers are to be inspected every five years.
  2. And dry-chemical fire canisters every 12 years.

After the hydrostatic testing, the canisters are individually recharged and sealed. Inspectors note down all they’ve observed on the hang tag as well as the metal tag that’s on the fire extinguisher.

What Sort of Information is Recorded on a Fire Extinguisher Tag?

Fire tags are filled with a host of important information about the fire extinguisher including:

·         Model/serial number

·         Canister expiration date

·         Active agent within the canister

·         The charged (or not charged) status of the extinguisher

That’s not all. But you’ll also be able to glean information about the last inspection date as well as the fire inspector who conducted the assessment.

Not only does this data provide invaluable information regarding the reliability of the fire extinguisher, but it also ensures that each fire extinguisher complies with the NFPA regulations and any other national or provincial fire codes.

What’s the Lifespan of Fire Extinguisher Tags?

In general, because fire extinguishers are supposed to be inspected at least once per year, it is safe to say that the tags are good for up to 12 months. 

You can easily determine the lifespan by checking out the month and year of the last inspection which should be clearly recorded on the tag.

How do You Correctly Read Fire Extinguisher Tags?

Contrary to popular belief, reading fire tags isn’t as difficult as some would think. Simply because the information presented on the tags is simple enough to understand.

You’ll be able to deduce the fire canister’s model number, and see when it was last serviced and by whom. The status and the expiration date of the fire extinguisher will also be expressly spelled out typically on the bottom. The words you may see include ‘recharged’, ‘new’ or ‘serviced’.

If there’s anything you don’t understand regarding fire tags, the best thing to do is to consult your local fire inspector.

What Else Should I Know About Fire Tags?

Is there anything else that you should ideally be aware of regarding fire extinguisher tags?

Yes, there’s one thing that’s worth noting and this relates to internal fire extinguisher assessments. If the contents of the canisters were examined, the NFPA mandates that a verification-of-service collar be attached around the neck of the fire extinguisher.

The information recorded onto the tag should highlight the name of the person or agency that conducted the internal examination alongside the month and year of the inspection. 

Now, onto some fire extinguisher tips.

Stay Safe With These Fire Extinguisher Tips

These practical tips promote good fire safety in the home and the workplace.

·         Mount fire extinguishers where they can be clearly seen and accessed

·         Store your fire extinguishers in an upright position at all times

·         Fire wardens must be trained and employees know how to use fire extinguishers

·         Routinely service fire extinguishers

·         Keep pathways to fire extinguishers unobstructed

Get Your Fire Extinguishers Inspected Today

If your fire extinguishers are due for an inspection or you don’t remember when they were last inspected and would like to have certified inspectors examine them, our Nutech Fire Prevention technicians are ready to help.

Our service offering goes beyond assessments, however. We also offer a comprehensive line of emergency backup generators, fire alarm systems, fire warning systems, fire extinguishers, emergency lighting, exit lighting, fire safety plans, sprinkler systems, and gas detection services for businesses in Hamilton, Ontario.

Request a free quote today.