Frequently Asked Questions
1 What are the inspection and maintenance requirements for H3R Aviation fire extinguishers?
Inspection and Maintenance Requirements for Gauged Fire Extinguishers
Gauged Halon 1211, Halotron 1 and FM-200 fire extinguishers distributed by H3R Aviation, Inc. should be installed, inspected and maintained in accordance with the owner's manual supplied with the extinguisher and NFPA No. 10, "Portable Fire Extinguishers." The following summarizes portions of those two documents
Fire extinguisher shall be inspected when initially placed in service and at minimum 30-day intervals or more frequently if circumstances dictate. Persons performing 30-day inspections are not be required to be certified.
Check to see that the extinguisher is undamaged; that the nozzle is unobstructed; that the gauge pressure is in the operable (green) range; that the lockpin and tamper seal is in place, and that the operating instructions are clearly visible. If the inspection reveals a deficiency in any of these conditions, corrective action must be taken.
Extinguishers shall be subjected to maintenance not more than one year apart or when specifically indicated by an inspection. Maintenance is a thorough examination of the extinguisher, covering mechanical parts, extinguishing agent and expelling means. It is intended to give maximum assurance that an extinguisher will operate effectively and safely, and should be done professionally. Most authorities require special tags be attached to the extinguisher to verify this service.
Every six years, stored pressure fire extinguishers that require a 12-year hydrostatic test shall be emptied and subjected to applicable maintenance procedures. This should be done professionally, and involves a thorough inspection and the replacement of certain parts. When these maintenance procedures are performed during periodic recharging or hydrostatic testing, the six year requirement shall begin from that date.
Twelve-Year Hydrostatic Test
All gauged H3R Aviation fire extinguishers require a 12 year hydrostatic test performed by certified technicians as per NFPA 10. Simply stated, the Hydrostatic test confirms the integrity of the cylinder, and at the 12 year mark, is performed in conjunction with the 6 year maintenance.
2 What is the proper way to use a fire extinguisher?
The following instructions are of a general nature, intended to familiarize the user with the basic operating techniques of H3R Aviation hand portable extinguishers. All operate by removing the safety pin and squeezing the handles together. Since extinguishers differ, the extinguisher nameplate must be consulted for specific procedures and starting distances.
Note: WHENEVER POSSIBLE, PROTECTIVE CLOTHING AND BREATHING EQUIPMENT SHOULD BE USED WHILE FIGHTING A FIRE.
1. HOLD THE EXTINGUISHER UPRIGHT AND PULL THE RING (SAFETY) PIN breaking the plastic seal.
2. STAND BACK FROM THE FIRE (the minimum distance stated on the nameplate) and AIM AT THE BASE OF THE FIRE NEAREST YOU.
3. Keeping the extinguisher UPRIGHT, SQUEEZE THE HANDLES TOGETHER to discharge and SWEEP FROM SIDE TO SIDE. Move closer as the fire is extinguished but not so close as to scatter the burning material or liquid.
4. When the fire is out, back away while watching for possible re-ignition.
5. Evacuate and ventilate the area immediately after use. The fumes and smoke from any fire may be hazardous and can be deadly.
REMEMBER THIS SIMPLE WORD: PASS
3 Why does the gauge of my new extinguisher indicate the need for a recharge?
Most if not all extinguishers are filled and pressurized at 68-70 degrees F. Pressure gauges are calibrated to show the normal charged pressure at this temperature. The green area of any pressure gauge is intended to show a charged condition for the extinguisher through the temperature range for which the extinguisher is rated (i.e., -40 degrees through +120 degrees F.) An extinguisher which has been subjected to temperature ranges between -40 degrees and +70 degrees F will register between the left edge of the green pie and the upright charged position. Conversely, extinguishers exposed to abnormally high temperatures will indicate a reading higher than (to the right of) the upright position.
If manufacturers were to purposely overpressurize the extinguishers to account for anticipated low temperatures during transit into colder climates, warm weather would bring complaints of overcharged extinguishers.
The pressure/temperature relationship is noticeably greater in Halon (vaporizing liquid) extinguishers than in dry chemical units because Halon itself expands and contracts in relationship to temperature. It is for this reason that the GREEN pie area on Halon gauges is larger than on dry chemical (or water) gauges.
WHEN IN DOUBT: CONDITION THE EXTINGUISHER TO 70 DEGREES F. (21 DEGREES C) FOR SEVERAL HOURS TO OBTAIN AN ACCURATE INDICATION.
4 What is the shelf life of H3R Aviation fire extinguishers?
The inspection and maintenance requirements for gauged fire extinguishers per NFPA 10 call for a 6-year maintenance and a 12-year hydrostatic test - calculated from the month and year of manufacture. As long as the extinguisher undergoes the maintenance and passes the test it can remain in service.
H3R Aviation calculates the remaining shelf life of its gauged fire extinguishers by comparing the timing of the 6-year maintenance to the month and year of manufacture per the following formula.
(72 months - Months elapsed from manufacture date) / 72 months = Shelf life remaining
For example, if an extinguisher was manufactured in February of 2012, and it is June 2012, it has a remaining shelf life of 94%.
(72 months - 4 months) / 72 months = 94%