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Businesses in Florida are required to have their portable fire extinguishers inspected and certified at least annually. This helps to ensure the extinguisher will actually work when it is needed. The inspection must be done by a trained technician licensed in the State of Florida.
Annual Inspection: Verifies that the extinguisher is safe and operational. The charge of dry powder or chemicals is verified, the pressure is checked and the components are inspected and verified. If required the extinguisher is recharged or repaired as needed. If the extinguisher cannot be made to meet state requirements it is "condemned" by the technician and cannot be used.
6-year Inspection: The extinguisher is taken apart, emptied of dry chemical powder and thoroughly inspected and cleaned. It is then refilled with dry chemical powder and repressurized with nitrogen gas. Parts are replaced as necessary. If the extinguisher cannot be brought up to required legal standards it is "condemned" by the technician and cannot be used.
12-year Inspection: This consists of everything done in the 6-year inspection, plus a procedure called "Hydrostatic testing". Hydrostatic testing consists of filling the tank with water and testing it under high pressure to find leaks. If the extinguisher cannot be made to meet state requirements it is "condemned" by the technician and cannot be used.