You are probably well aware of the importance of fire extinguishers, and hopefully, you maintain them properly. However, at the end of an extinguisher’s lifespan, what do you do? Here is what you need to know about recharging fire extinguishers and handling expired fire extinguishers.
How Long Do Portable Fire Extinguishers Last?
As a general rule, and as long as the equipment is well taken care of, a portable fire extinguisher can last somewhere between 10 and 12 years. At this point, your fire extinguisher needs to undergo hydrostatic testing to determine the shell’s integrity.
If it passes, your equipment can be recharged and used for several more years. However, if it fails, it is time to replace it with a new one.
When Should You Replace Your Fire Extinguisher
If you have a disposable fire extinguisher, it will need to be replaced every 12 years. This is due to the fact that they cannot be recharged. If you have a rechargeable extinguisher, then it should be replaced at the first signs of the following issues:
- Missing or damaged pull pin
- Loose or broken handle
- Clogged or cracked nozzle
- Slow loss of pressure
- Damage on the exterior
- Failed hydrostatic test
- Missing inspection tag
All of the aforementioned issues create a difficult and potentially harmful situation in the event that a fire breaks out.
What You Should Do with an Expired Fire Extinguisher
So, you’ve determined that your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced, but what in the world do you do with the expired fire extinguisher? One thing you must know is that a fire extinguisher cannot simply be thrown in the garbage like outdated food.
Why, you ask? The fire extinguisher contains pressurized chemicals that can be incredibly dangerous if mishandled. Therefore, proper protocol must be taken to dispose of your fire protection equipment.
Is It Full or Partially Charged?
If your fire extinguisher has any chemicals left in it, you should give your local fire department a call. See if they accept expired fire extinguishers. If they won’t accept your old canister, visit a hazardous waste disposal facility near you.
Is It Empty?
If your canister is empty, ensure the pressure is fully released by squeezing the level. Take off the head of the extinguisher so others are aware it is empty. Contact a local recycling facility and request information about dropping off the steel canister.
Recharging Fire Extinguishers Expired Fire Extinguishers
When it comes to recharging fire extinguishers and identifying expired fire extinguishers, we can help. If it has been over a year since your last fire extinguisher inspection, or you are concerned with the reliability and safety of your equipment, contact us today to schedule an appointment for an inspection.
Categorised in: Fire Extinguishers
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