January: Portable Fire Extinguishers

The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) has stated that hundreds are killed, and thousands are injured, every year as a result of workplace fires.  As we start a new year it is a good time to ensure your portable fire safety equipment has been adequately maintained and is in good working order should a fire event occur.  For workplace equipment OSHA’s requirements state that an employer must:

  • Inspect, maintain, and test all portable fire extinguishers in the workplace. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)(1)]
  • Visually inspect portable extinguishers or hoses monthly. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)(2)]
  • Perform an annual maintenance check on portable fire extinguishers. Stored pressure extinguishers do not require an internal examination. Record the annual maintenance date and retain this record for one year after the last entry or the life of the shell, whichever is less. Make the record available to the Assistant Secretary upon request. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)(3)]
  • Empty and maintain dry chemical extinguishers (that require a 12-year hydrostatic test) every six years. Dry chemical extinguishers that have non-refillable disposable containers are exempt from this requirement. When recharging or hydrostatic testing is performed, the six-year requirement begins from that date. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)(4)]
  • Provide alternate equivalent protection when portable fire extinguishers are removed from service for maintenance and recharging. [29 CFR 1910.157(e)(5)]

PSRG work with Owners and Operators providing fire protection engineering to support their commitment to fire safety in facilities including chemical plants, refineries and offshore facilities.


United States Department of Labor, Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). Evacuation Plans and Procedures eTools; Emergency Standards: Portable Fire Extinguishers.  Retrieved from