Fire Extinguisher Testing – Hydrostatic Pressure Interval Standard

fire-extinguisher-hydrostatic-intervalDespite its essential function as the first defense against fire, fire extinguisher potentially contains some hazards that can be harmful to workers’ safety. It holds high pressure extinguisher media. Any problem in cylinder strength could expose high pressure to the workers.

Failure in fire extinguisher cylinder strength can be caused by corrosion, burnt in fire or any other reasons. In order to evaluate the cylinder strength against unwanted failure, it becomes so important to do fire extinguisher hydrostatic pressure testing periodically according to the standard.

Fire Extinguisher Hydrostatic Pressure Interval Standard

According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) Standard Number 10, Portable Fire Extinguishers, Section 5-2, Table 5-2, the interval of hydrostatic testing are as follows.

Type of extinguishers Test Interval (years)
Stored pressure water, loaded system, and/or antifreeze 5
Wetting agent 5
AFFF (Aqueous Film-Forming Foam) 5
FFFP (Film-Forming Fluoroprotein Foam) 5
Dry chemical with stainless steel shells 5
Carbon dioxide 5
Wet Chemical 5
Dry chemical, stored pressure, with mild steel shells, brazed brass shells, or aluminum shells 12
Dry chemical, cartridge-or cylinder- operated, with mild steel shells 12
Halogenated agents 12
Dry powder, stored-pressure, cartridge-or cylinder- operated, with mild steel shells 12

The exception to the above interval is for non-rechargeable stored pressure extinguishers such like dry chemical extinguishers, which are necessary to be removed from service 12 years from the manufacturing date.

Fire extinguisher hydrostatic testing is done by pressurized the cylinder using water or other non-compressible fluid at a specific pressure as required by the manufacturer or safety standard. The pressure shall be kept at least 30 seconds. Hydrostatic testing shall be done by a certified or approved servicing company.

After fire extinguisher testing completed, a permanent record shall be made on each cylinder as NPFA 10, Section 5-6.1. For low-pressure cylinders, permanent record of hydrostatic pressure pass must be prepared on metallic label or similar affix to each extinguisher that shows the month and year the test was completed, test pressure used, the initial or name of the person doing the service and the company name they represent. Meanwhile, for high-pressure cylinders, it must stamped with the tester’ identification number and the month and year of the fire extinguisher testing.

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