So, you have a fire extinguisher in your building, but what do you actually know about it? That little red cylinder might seem like a permanent fixture in buildings around the nation, but you should never underestimate its importance. 

Our fire extinguisher tips are primarily for businesses. At Jim’s Test & Tag, we offer fire extinguisher servicing to organisations across New Zealand. We are experts in both electrical testing and fire safety. 

Our Fire Extinguisher Tips 

Knowing when to use a Fire Extinguisher: 

Choosing to use a fire extinguisher is a serious matter and should not be taken lightly. Don’t try and be a hero, jumping in to save the day without calculating the risks. 

  • Make sure the building has been evacuated. Your first responsibility is to make sure the people in your building are aware of the fire and have evacuated. 
  • Call the fire brigade – even if you intend to use a fire extinguisher, you need to call the professionals and know that backup is on the way if you aren’t able to get the fire under control. 
  • Check that you have an escape route that has not been compromised by flame. You don’t want to get trapped by a fire with nowhere to go. 
  • If it looks as though your escape route has been compromised, abandon your attempt to extinguish the flame and get out. Your safety is more important. 
  • Make sure you know how to use a fire extinguisher and which fire extinguisher is suitable for your flame. 

Fire Extinguisher Tips for Operation: 

  • Try to work in pairs for extra safety. 
  • If you have any doubt about whether your safety is compromised, get out. If the flames are taller than you and unconfined, you should evacuate. 
  • Sharply pull the pin at the top of the extinguisher to make sure it is safe to use. 
  • Use the PASS system to fight the flame: pull the pin, aim at the base of the fire, squeeze the lever slowly, and sweep the hose from one side to the other. 
  • Never turn you back on a fire. 
  • Try to stand at least 2m from the fire. Your extinguisher hose should have enough pressure to reach it. 
  • Contact your local fire department for more information – they will be able to give you more specific advice for safe fire extinguisher operation. 

Fire Extinguisher Maintenance Tips:  

  • Make sure you dispose of fire extinguishers responsibly at a recycling centre. If you have a yellow fire extinguisher, return it to the manufacturer or contact your local fire department. This type of extinguisher is illegal. 
  • Make sure your extinguisher is regularly maintained by a professional that adheres to the NZS 4503:2005 standard for Hand Operated Fire-Fighting Equipment. This means that:  
    • All types of portable extinguishers need to be tested at least once every 12 months 
    • Hydraulic pressure tests need to occur every 5 years 

Please note that these frequencies can change based on your environment so you will need to consult with a professional. 


Contact Jim’s Test & Tag Today 

If you own or operate a business, your extinguishers need to be maintained according to our national fire extinguisher safety regulations. Only trained technicians can accurately test and inspect your equipment. 

Ask Jim’s Test & Tag to perform your next fire extinguisher safety test. We can perform all of your statutory testing requirements and make sure you have the documentation to prove your compliance. 

Contact us now via phone or fill in the online form for a free quote. 

Did you like our fire extinguisher tips? Make sure you like and share to spread this safety message.