How to Inspect a CO2 Fire Extinguisher

Portable fire extinguishers are a great safety tool to keep around in case of a fire. According to federal safety guidelines, all fire extinguishers, including CO2 extinguishers, need to be visually inspected every 30 days [source: OSHA]. Here's how to inspect your CO2 fire extinguisher:

  1. Locate your extinguisher This seems obvious, but you need to know where the fire extinguishers around your home or office are located. Make sure they're in an accessible place, where you can get to them if there's a fire emergency [source: Jersey Coast Fire Equipment].
  2. Verify extinguisher class Check your CO2 fire extinguisher's labeling to make sure it's safe for the types of fires that could happen in the immediate area. If there isn't enough information on the label, search the Internet or contact your local fire department for more information [source: Jersey Coast Fire Equipment].
  3. Check the plastic seal All fire extinguishers should have a seal holding a safety pin in place. Report any extinguishers with missing or broken seals to your local fire department [source: Jersey Coast Fire Equipment].
  4. Weigh the canister CO2 fire extinguishers are highly pressurized. They don't have gauges like other types of extinguishers and need to be weighed to see how much is inside. Most CO2 units are labeled for weight. The common sizes are 5, 10, 15 and 20 pounds (2.3, 4.5, 6.8 and 9 kilograms) [source: Strike First USA].
  5. Check the pin, nozzle and nameplate Everything should look brand new on a CO2 fire extinguisher. Check the pin, nozzle and nameplate for any damage or signs of tampering [source: Jersey Coast Fire Equipment].