Too many homeowners have dusty old fire extinguishers in their kitchens. We hope you aren’t one of them. Contrary to what many people suppose, fire extinguishers do have expiration dates. Holding onto an expired one is a serious fire hazard, as it could give you a false sense of security. But what can you do with your old, expired fire extinguisher? Read on to find out!
Where’s the expiration date?
Before you dispose of a fire extinguisher, you need to make sure it’s expired. If the concept of them having expiration dates is new to you, you might be unsure where to find the specific date. The truth is that many of them don’t have one clearly written on them. In this case, you’ll have to extrapolate from the date of manufacturing. You might find this in any of the following locations:
- The label
- On the cylinder body
- Near the plastic ring on the neck
Once you’ve found this date, add 10 years to get your expiration date.
If you can’t find either of these dates, your best practice may simply be to dispose of it and get a new one. It never hurts to play it safe if you suspect it may be past its prime.
How can I dispose of an expired fire extinguisher?
Once you’ve determined that you have an expired fire extinguisher in your possession, it’s time to dispose of it. Your course of action will depend upon whether or not it’s empty.
If your fire extinguisher is empty: first of all, you’ll have to be extra sure it’s empty. Give the handle a squeeze for verification, then you can remove the head. From there, make a few phone calls to nearby recycling centers, and ask if they accept ferrous metals. When you find one that does, simply drop it off.
If your fire extinguisher is full or partially full: the most important thing to remember is NOT to throw it away in the regular garbage. Pressurized fire extinguishers are hazardous materials that could potentially lead to an explosion. Start with nearby fire departments. Call them up and ask if they will take expired fire extinguishers. If this doesn’t bring you any luck, contact your Department of Public Works and follow their directions for disposing of hazardous waste.
Proper disposal of an expired fire extinguisher is nothing to be taken lightly. Carefully follow our advice!
Commercial and Residential Fire Prevention from Judd Fire Protection
If you want to ensure your home and business are safe throughout the year, trust Judd Fire Protection, LLC. We have over two decades of experience in designing, installing, inspecting, and repairing residential and commercial fire protection systems. We serve clients throughout Maryland, Pennsylvania, Washington, D.C., Virginia, and West Virginia. If you are interested in finding out more about our services and protecting your home and business, give us a call at 410-871-3480 or contact us online. For more fire safety tips, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.