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Can I Use an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

A well-maintained fire extinguisher should last approximately 10 to 12 years. According to National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards, disposable fire extinguishers must be replaced at least every 12 years. After that much time, they tend to lose pressure. You shouldn’t use an expired fire extinguisher, as it may not function properly in an emergency. Rechargeable extinguishers can last longer than that if they pass testing of the shell’s integrity.

External factors like damage, rust, and corrosion can cause a fire extinguisher to lose its ability to operate properly over time. Your extinguishers need to be inspected and tested regularly. One of the most important tests is the hydrostatic test. Hydrostatic testing gauges the integrity of the fire extinguisher’s cylinder and any extinguisher that fails that test should be discarded immediately.

Signs it’s time to replace your fire extinguisher:

If your fire extinguisher has visible defects, it should be replaced. Other signs that it may no longer function properly are:

  • Broken seal.
  • Signs of weakening and damage.
  • Shaky, weak, or broken handle.
  • Cracked, split, or damaged hose.

How to properly dispose of a fire extinguisher:

  • If your fire extinguisher is full: Give your local fire department a call and ask if they will accept expired fire extinguishers. If they can’t accept it, take the extinguishers to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
  • If your fire extinguisher is empty: Squeeze the handle to ensure that the pressure has been completely released. Remove the extinguisher’s head to show that the canister is empty. Most recycling facilities should accept the empty steel shell.

For more information on what to do with an expired fire extinguisher, always refer to local guidelines and disposal recommendations.

Schedule Fire Extinguisher Inspection Services With Fire Pros in Grand Rapids, Michigan

With over 40 years of experience, Fire Pros is a fire protection company that’s dedicated to keeping our customers safe by offering fire extinguishers, emergency exit lighting, and other fire safety services. We also provide 24-hour emergency service to help our customers maintain fire safety in their commercial buildings. Our team of expertly trained fire suppression experts is immensely proud of our great reviews and our “customers first” reputation.

If you’re unsure about the condition of your fire extinguishers or would like to have them inspected or tested, contact the fire protection professionals at Fire Pros by calling us or contacting us online.

Category: Fire Extinguishers