Close Call during fire extinguisher maintenance

Safety Alert Type: 
Hazardous Materials
Vancouver Island
Date of Incident / Close Call: 
Company Name: 
Mount Sicker Lumber Company Ltd.
Details of Incident / Close Call: 

A mechanic was performing the regular maintenance inspection on a fire extinguisher at a dryland sort. The gauge was checked and the needle was in the green zone. The date was marked on the tag and then the extinguisher was flipped over.

In order to ensure the powder content had not settled and packed in the bottom, the mechanic tapped the bottom of the extinguisher with a rubber mallet.

The fire extinguisher exploded and shot the bottom end and the content 50 feet, narrowly missing the mechanic.


Learnings and Suggestions: 
  • Ensure eye protection is worn and perform maintenance in a safe area to prevent injury to self and others
  • Check that the gauge needle is in the middle of the green zone
  • Ensure the pin and tamper seal are intact and nozzle has not been hindered in any way
  • Wipe clean the cylinder to remove any dirt or grease
  • Inspect the cylinder - there should be no dents, leaks, rust, chemical deposits and/or other signs of abuse or wear
  • If the extinguisher is damaged or needs recharging, replace it
  • Recharge all extinguishers immediately after use, regardless of how much they were used
  • Shake the extinguisher or gently tap with a rubber mallet after thorough examination


For more information on this submitted alert: 
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