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Should I Use an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

Posted on: December 1, 2014

In short, no, you should not use an expired fire extinguisher. With proper care (including recharging and hydro-testing), your fire extinguisher should be able to last 10 – 12 years. However, it’s important that you schedule regular maintenance with a professional fire protection company like Guardian, so we can ensure your fire extinguisher is safe and reliable to use—and in the event that your extinguisher is no longer deemed safe, we can replace it. 

Keep your building safe—contact Guardian for fire extinguisher services in MD, VA, or DC. Fill out the form to the right or call 301-861-0972 to schedule your service!

When Does a Fire Extinguisher Need to Be Replaced?

Your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced when:

  • The seal around the neck is weakened or broken down, allowing the compressed air to escape. This will lower the pressure in the fire extinguisher and cause it to malfunction.
  • The chemical powder in your fire extinguisher settles on the bottom of and gets packed down. If this happens, a professional fire protection services company can empty and recharge your fire extinguisher so you won’t have to replace it.
  • The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped, or clogged.
  • The pin is missing or unsealed.
  • The handle is broken or wobbly.
  • The inspection tag is missing.

Fire Extinguisher Disposal

Because they are full of pressurized chemicals, fire extinguishers can’t simply be thrown in the trash—you need to take certain steps to make sure it is safe.

If the fire extinguisher is not empty:

  • Call the fire department and see if you can drop your fire extinguisher off at the firehouse.
  • If the fire department doesn’t accept it, take your fire extinguisher to your nearest hazardous waste disposal facility.

If the fire extinguisher is empty:

  • Squeeze the lever to make sure that all of the pressure has been released.
  • Remove the fire extinguisher head so that whoever disposes of the extinguisher knows that all of the contents have been removed.
  • Once the fire extinguisher is completely empty and the head has been removed, most recycling facilities should accept the steel body.

Schedule Your Fire Extinguisher Services

The best thing about partnering with Guardian is that we are your single-source solution for all fire protection services. Our experienced fire safety professionals specialize in all aspects of fire protection, including:

Located in Maryland, Northern Virginia, or Washington, DC and want to learn more? Call us today to speak with one of our experienced fire safety professionals and discover why top names in business and the government consistently recommend Guardian.

Contact us online or by phone at 301-861-0972 to schedule your appointment!

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