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Can You Recharge Used Fire Extinguishers?

Posted on: October 12, 2011

Making sure your building is equipped with fully charged fire extinguishers is critical to your safety and the safety of the people in your building. While fires in most buildings are extremely rare, the risk is always present and improperly charged fire extinguishers can put you and your employees at serious risk.

Using a fire extinguisher once will effectively cause it to become “improperly charged,” and it should be handled accordingly. When this happens, you have two choices as to what to do next: replace the fire extinguisher or have it recharged. So which option is best?

Well-maintained fire extinguishers are very durable and are designed to last a long time – up to 12 years or more. As a result, they can be recharged indefinitely as long as the shell and other components have no structural integrity issues (cracks, dents, etc.).

Even so, we typically recommend that you have used fire extinguishers replaced – most business owners find this to be a timely and cost-effective option. Used fire extinguishers can be refurbished so they are not wasted.

As we said above, you must have your fire extinguishers recharged or replaced any time you discharge them – even if it’s just a little bit. More important than the extinguishant being released is the pressure, which could prevent your extinguisher from working properly in the future.

Other Times to Have Fire Extinguisher Replacement

Aside from replacing fire extinguishers whenever you use them, there are other times when you should have them replaced. Replace your fire extinguishers if:

  • The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped or clogged
  • The pin on the handle is broken or missing
  • The handle is broken or wobbly
  • The inspection tag is missing
  • The shell is cracked or damaged

If you have a fire extinguisher in your building that has recently been used, or if you have a broken or damaged fire extinguisher in your building, call Guardian Fire Protection! We can come check out your fire extinguisher and help you decide whether you need fire extinguisher recharge or fire extinguisher replacement. And if your fire extinguisher is damaged or malfunctioning in any way, we can replace it straight away!

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