Does your fire extinguisher work? - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Does your fire extinguisher work?

November 25, 2003

Albany - In case of a fire, grab a fire extinguisher, right? What if it doesn't work? If fire extinguishers aren't maintained, you could end up just blowing air on a fire.

WALB News 10 investigated to find out if fire extinguishers in heavily populated areas, like Albany apartment complexes, are in good working order, and guess what? They aren't.

If your home catches on fire, is your fire extinguisher guaranteed to work. Service technician, Paul Golden, Junior says, "Our job is to make sure they are within date, usable if it's needed to be used."

Golden inspects fire extinguishers for Golden's Fire Fighting Equipment. She says, "You never know when something can happen." It's not just important, it's the law. All businesses, including apartment complexes, in Georgia are required to have an expert inspect fire extinguishers once a year.

It only took us 10 minutes for us to find four fire extinguishers at an Albany apartment complex with 1999 inspection dates. Three years overdue.

Ten minutes later, we spotted five more extinguishers inspected in 1999 and one as old as 1997. Golden adds, "Some people get away with things."

We did find a nearby apartment complex up to code with recent inspections and fire alarms. They put their extinguishers to the test. They must be checked for blockage, pressure and makes sure the powder is not stuck at the bottom.

Even though experts are supposed to check business fire extinguishers yearly, the state also requires businesses to do their own quick check every month.

As for the apartment complex in violation, they may be cited by fire marshals. If the problem is not fixed, they could end up in court paying a fine.

It can cost less than five dollars to get a an expert to inspect your fire extinguisher. If you buy a new one, fire marshals will accept a store receipt up to a year.

posted at 7:15PM by kathryn.simmons@walb.com