Does NFPA 10 require a person to be certified to perform the annual inspection, even if the extinguisher is not due for the six-year maintenance or hydrostatic test?
This response refers to the 2013 edition of NFPA 10 Standard for Portable Fire Extinguishers.
Although an internal examination (7.3.3) is not always required, maintenance (3.3.15) should not be confused with inspection (3.3.14). The external examination (7.3.2) is a maintenance procedure that is intended to be much more thorough than the inspections performed on a monthly basis (7.2.2) and should determine whether the extinguisher remains in good working order. In this regard, an untrained, uncertified person may not be aware of all of the required procedures, such as replacing the tamper seal every year (220.127.116.11), or may not be able to identify non-obvious areas of concern, such as a blocked nozzle, cracked hose, or bent safety pin. Therefore, personnel that perform this examination must be certified.