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PSA - Daylight Savings: Check Detector Batteries & Extinguishers

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  • PSA - Daylight Savings: Check Detector Batteries & Extinguishers

    As we set clocks back for DLS, a suggestion to take a moment to
    use a DVM to check smoke detector batteries. Also to upend fire
    extinguishers for a rap on the bottom to shake loose settled retardent
    and review when the extinguishers are next due for service/inspection.

    .

  • #2
    Second the motion on the fire extinguishers but would add that I posed this issue to the owner of a place that refurbs fire extinguishers. He said his procedure is not just to rap on the bottom but to take a rubber mallet and bang away for about a minute all around the bottom end, turning and flipping as he goes.

    Steve

    Comment


    • #3
      Yea, I have performed maintenance on probably over a million extinguishers. Dry chemical extinguishers have a tendency to cake the powder, and a rubber mallet works well. (you have to whack them pretty hard and you will hear the sound change). You will know your done when you can "feel" the powder inside move as if it was a liquid. For most area's (at least anything under NFPA) dry extinguishers need to be serviced every 6 years (powder change) and 12 years (cylinder pressure test) from the date on manufacturer (on the unit somewhere). Plastic head ones (from the stores like Lowes) are usually "throw away", as the heads cant be removed without destroying them. Industrial ones (metal head assemblies) can be serviced forever, until the cylinder pressure test fails).

      As for smoke alarm batteries, chuck them and use NEW ones, as you really don't want it dying in 6 months to save $1.00. Also, I replace the whole unit at LEAST every two years, but usually once a year, as they DO NOT work forever and get pretty dirty inside the chamber (which you cant clean properly). They are so cheap now its just not worth screwing around.

      Comment


      • #4
        Why change the batteries before the unit beeps?
        Mike

        My Dad always said, "If you want people to do things for you on the farm, you have to buy a machine they can sit on that does most of the work."

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by MotorradMike View Post
          Why change the batteries before the unit beeps?
          Because, like everything else made today, detectors are jucking funk.
          Great ideas and easy to remember the date. Where I live they don't practice it but I still hear about it twice a year.

          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by MotorradMike View Post
            Why change the batteries before the unit beeps?
            As to checking/changing before the Low Battery warning beep is triggered, I have a few
            reasons.

            A key factor for me is that I often can not hear the chirp. Such was the case earlier
            this month when the dog, a BC, woke me. Thinking this was prompted by coyotes, I
            checked the perimeter and went back to bed. Later another family member woke me
            again - a detector in a third member's BR was making the Low Battery chirp. That
            person slept right through the alert chirps as well as my replacement of the battery.

            Which leads to my second reason. Most people at some point in their sleep cycle sleep
            VERY soundly. Perhaps you have tried to rouse someone only to find they just WOULD
            not respond. Perhaps you have been the intended and can recall how disoriented YOU
            were for several moments after being finally awakened from a deep slumber.

            I do not know how long a battery at the end of its life will sound an alarm, but I do not
            want to find out posthumously that it wasn't long enough for me to become sufficiently
            conscious to realize that I was hearing an alarm.

            .

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Stern View Post
              Dry chemical extinguishers have a tendency to cake the powder
              This is particularly problematic for extinguishers mounted in a
              vehicle or similar environment where they are subject to repeated
              vibration/shock (stationary machinery, adjacent to a hard-closing door)

              Originally posted by Stern
              Industrial ones (metal head assemblies) can be serviced forever ...
              However, it may not be economic to service them when compared
              to the cost of replacement.

              I currently have several 10 lb Amerex ABC rechargeables, as well
              as a couple of larger CO² extinguishers. In my community, the cost
              to recharge the 10 lb ABC is more than the price of new Amerex ones.

              .

              Comment


              • #8
                I pull this thread forward from the archives as a reminder as
                you go through this semi-annual routine of resetting the clocks.

                Take an additional few minutes to inspect and service your fire
                extinguishers, along with checking the batteries and testing those
                smoke & carbon monoxide detectors positioned around the home
                and shop

                Along with the comments posted above in this thread, there
                is also some discussion on related points in the threads below

                .

                Comment


                • #9
                  My dry chemical extinguishers on or in vehicles are all laid on their side and before use the bottom is hit hard against the road or some other hard surface to disturb the powder.

                  We are looking at banning all dry powder units as the damage that they do to equipment is far greater cost than they are worth ,(corrosive chemicals).

                  I am mandating all CO2 . as there are no problems with settling , just jerks who want to make you replace the cylinders due to some perception of possible failure.
                  Michael

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                    As we set clocks back for DLS ...
                    Arizona doesn't have this twice-yearly chore of messing with the time. Here the sun is the enemy so why would we want to save it? I shall have to think of some other way of remembering to check batteries, etc.

                    Hawaii doesn't have DST either, and I think parts of Indiana are equally blessed.
                    Allan Ostling

                    Phoenix, Arizona

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I have a smoke alarm that dates back to at least 1989 and it still works OK. I test it almost every day from October to March when I light the wood stove, and that may be a better test than pushing the button. I'm not sure if that just checks the battery voltage, or somehow verifies that the sensor is working. I have found that the battery lasts as long as a year or so and when it beeps it does so for a few days. It is also a good idea to check and clean the battery terminals and make sure the clip fits tightly. The alarm I have also has wires for connection to AC power, but I haven't used them.
                      http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                      Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                      USA Maryland 21030

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Whether or not your region experiences a time change this weekend,
                        consider servicing the smoke & CO detection sensors you have on site,
                        along with the extinguishing equipment located around the premises.

                        Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                        I pull this thread forward from the archives as a reminder as
                        you go through this semi-annual routine of resetting the clocks.

                        Take an additional few minutes to inspect and service your fire
                        extinguishers, along with checking the batteries and testing those
                        smoke & carbon monoxide detectors positioned around the home
                        and shop

                        Along with the comments posted above in this thread, there
                        is also some discussion on related points in the threads below

                        .

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Saw the title and thought I was being reminded to take my annual PSA test...

                          Then realized I was confusing TLAs (Three Letter Acronymns).
                          "A machinist's (WHAP!) best friend (WHAP! WHAP!) is his hammer. (WHAP!)" - Fred Tanner, foreman, Lunenburg Foundry and Engineering machine shop, circa 1979

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Never change my clocks forward or backward, stupid idea, and not all areas do this. So i just leave em, i know what time it is. (I'm in Ontario , a province that does switch.)

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Whether or not your region experienced a time change this past weekend,
                              consider servicing the smoke & CO detection sensors you have on site,
                              along with the extinguishing equipment located around the premises.

                              Originally posted by EddyCurr View Post
                              I pull this thread forward from the archives as a reminder as
                              you go through this semi-annual routine of resetting the clocks.

                              Take an additional few minutes to inspect and service your fire
                              extinguishers, along with checking the batteries and testing those
                              smoke & carbon monoxide detectors positioned around the home
                              and shop

                              Along with the comments posted above in this thread, there
                              is also some discussion on related points in the threads below

                              .

                              Comment

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