Taking care of “the red thing”


To V, the fire extinguisher is the “red thing I put my foot on to step up” to her berth. To us, it’s an important yet neglected part of our fire safety system.

The last time our fire extinguisher was serviced was in 2004. I asked someone at our marina for a recommendation. He named a place but warned that if the needle is still in the green, they will likely slap a new tag on it. Somehow that didn’t seem like the right approach to me.

Instead I got a recommendation for Gorham’s Fire Appliances in Quincy, and took a trip down. Bill from Gorham’s explained that they empty the contents, check the parts to make sure they work, and put it all back together again for a 6 year servicing. He also explained that dry chemical fire extinguishers made 20 years ago caked, but the newer ones don’t anymore. It should come out “like water.” This means you don’t need to shake it up regularly.

The next day, we picked up our newly reserviced fire extinguishers and V was happy to get her step back up to the berth.