Having an up-to-date and fully functioning fire extinguisher in your home or business is vital. If you have kept up with your annual fire safety maintenance, you should be safe and secure. Something as simple as rust buildup or a broken pin can significantly impact your fire extinguisher’s functioning. But what happens when your extinguisher expires? How should you dispose of it properly? Here are some tips on properly disposing of an expired fire extinguisher.
How to Know When a Fire Extinguisher Expires
Portable fire extinguishers generally have a lifespan of 12 years. However, it is essential to understand the difference between rechargeable extinguishers and disposable ones. While rechargeable extinguishers may stay in good condition to recharge and use for years, a disposable extinguisher must be replaced once it reaches the end of its lifespan. Whenever your rechargeable extinguisher is serviced, your fire protection professional will put a tag on the bottle to indicate when it is due for the next inspection. All you need to do is check the gauge once a month to ensure it is in the green and keep track of your service schedule.
When to Recharge Your Fire Extinguisher
First, a qualified fire extinguisher technician must inspect all fire extinguishers. Your technician will perform hydrostatic testing to determine if the device is still strong enough to contain the pressurized contents safely. If the extinguisher passes the test and there is no visible damage, your technician can recharge it and return it to you for more years of practical use. Even if the extinguisher appears undamaged and the pressure gauge still displays the appropriate amount of pressure, your 12 -year-old extinguisher will need to undergo this process to make sure it is in proper working order.
How to Dispose of an Expired Fire Extinguisher
If your fire protection professional deems your extinguisher unsafe or inoperable in any way, it should be disposed of properly. Because of the chemicals inside the device, you cannot simply throw it away or recycle it with other household products. Instead, the disposal method depends on the condition of the fire extinguisher:
- If it still has charge, your fire protection professional can help dispose of it properly.
- If it is empty, visit your local recycling facility for directions for recycling the steel canister. Squeeze the lever and remove the extinguisher head to ensure no pressure remains in the cylinder.
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.