Will an Expired Fire Extinguisher Work?

August 23, 2021 11:24 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Many people wonder if fire extinguishers can actually expire. While they don’t technically “expire,” fire extinguishers can become depressurized over time, making them extremely difficult to use. It can be hard to tell whether your fire extinguisher has become depressurized, which is why it’s good to schedule fire extinguisher maintenance and have it tested from time to time. There are also some types of fire extinguishers you should avoid using altogether, which we discuss below. Read on to learn more about fire extinguishers and how to properly maintain them.

When to replace a fire extinguisher

Most experts recommend replacing a fire extinguisher after 20 years or so. However, a lot of people don’t remember exactly when they got their fire extinguisher. This is especially true for people who live in apartments, where the extinguishers were provided for them. That said, most complexes keep up with their extinguishers and know when it’s time to have them tested or replaced. If you don’t remember when you bought your fire extinguisher, consider having it tested.

Testing a fire extinguisher

It’s best to perform a full fire extinguisher maintenance check at least once a year. Be sure to have these inspections performed by a professional, as they will know exactly what to look for. Depending on the exact type of equipment you have, it’s good to have your fire extinguishers tested every five to 12 years. This will usually include a hydrostatic test, which involves checking a fire extinguisher’s cylinder. Extinguishers that don’t pass this test are considered obsolete and should be replaced immediately.

Fire extinguisher maintenance tips

The best way to ensure your fire extinguisher lasts a long time is by properly maintaining it. Be sure to keep your fire extinguisher in an area where it’s not blocked by clothing, tools or any other objects. Routinely check for any leaks, dents, rust or other damage to the outside of your fire extinguisher. Wipe away any materials that have built up on the sides, but be careful and avoid touching dangerous materials with your bare skin. Lastly, check for damages on the outer components of your extinguisher, including the nozzle and pin.

If your fire extinguisher features a gauge, be sure to check it from time to time. The needle on this gauge should stay in the green area. It’s also a good idea to routinely bring your fire extinguisher to a professional for comprehensive professional maintenance.

Fire extinguishers to avoid using

These days, certain types of fire extinguishers are considered obsolete. For example, you should avoid using any stored pressure extinguishers made before 1955. Other types of extinguishers to avoid using include soda acid, chemical foam, metal-horned carbon dioxide extinguishers and more. If you’re unsure of whether your fire extinguisher is obsolete, check with a fire equipment supplier in your area.

For all your fire safety equipment needs, reach out to the experts at Anchor Safety Inc. to schedule a consultation or service appointment. We can help you pick the perfect products for your home or business and ensure they’re well cared for.

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