What You Need to Know About Fire Extinguisher Hydrostatic Tests

People who own fire extinguishers that are aging need to have hydrostatic tests done on those fire extinguishers when the right time approaches. Read on and learn what this test is all about and why you need to have it done.

What Is a Hydrostatic Test?

A hydrostatic test is a test which is conducted on a fire extinguisher after emptying that extinguisher of its entire load of firefighting contents. The fire extinguisher is then filled with a coloured liquid before being pressurised to a level which is greater than the level at which a fire extinguisher is ordinarily pressurised. The fire extinguisher is then examined to see whether any leaks or structural deformations occur under those harsh testing conditions.

When Is The Test Done?

Each jurisdiction sets its own age at which the hydrostatic test must be performed on aging fire extinguishers. For instance, one jurisdiction may have a regulation requiring fire extinguishers to undergo this test once every 12 years.

How Does This Test Differ From The Annual Inspections?

The hydrostatic test goes further than what is possible during annual inspections of extinguishers. This is because the annual inspections don't extract the contents of the device in order to conduct rigorous structural tests. The annual inspection simply looks at the exterior of the device and checks that the contents of the extinguisher are at the required level of pressurisation.

Can This Test Be a DIY Project?

Hydrostatic tests should only be done by professionals. Laypeople don't have the knowledge and the tools needed for this risky procedure. For example, the experts have ways of detecting that the fire extinguisher is about to explode due to the intense pressure under which its contents have been placed. Protective gear is used to protect those professionals as they conduct the test. Only the test results recorded by professionals are accepted by fire safety inspectors.

What Are The Benefits of The Test?

The hydrostatic test is designed to unearth any structural flaws which may have developed over time. Such flaws can threaten your safety in case they remain undetected. For example, weak fire extinguisher walls can cause it to explode and injure or kill anyone near the device when it fails. Slow leaks can also cause that device to malfunction when you try to use it to put out a fire.

As you can see from the discussion above, hydrostatic tests play a crucial role in ensuring that your aging fire extinguisher will still do its work when you ever need to use it. Contact a fire protection service provider or a supplier of fire extinguishers in case your device has reached the time when this test should be performed. For more information, visit websites like http://www.fireprotectionservices.com.au.