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How Should I Dispose of an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

Posted on: May 30, 2017

Having an up-to-date and ready-to-use fire extinguisher in your New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia building is absolutely vital. If you’ve kept up with your annual Confires maintenance, you should be safe and secure. But what happens when you need to replace your extinguisher? How should you dispose of it properly? We’ve got all the answers to your questions here.

How Do I Know When My Fire Extinguisher Expires?

Fire extinguishers typically don’t expire. However, disposable extinguishers must be replaced every 12 years, in accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) standards. Disposable extinguishers are made of plastic and feature a gauge that reads Full/Empty. They lose pressure over time and need to be replaced for safety reasons.

Rechargeable extinguishers can last much longer if they are well-maintained and can hold up in hydrotests every 12 years. You can keep track of your extinguisher’s status by looking at its gauge monthly yourself, and having it professionally serviced annually. All you need to do when you check the extinguished is look to see if it is still in the green zone—this indicates that it is fully charged and ready for use whenever necessary. If your extinguisher is in the red zone, you should contact your fire protection company for analysis.

Whenever your rechargeable extinguisher is serviced, your Confires inspector will place a tag on the bottle to indicate when it is next due for inspection. Simply check the gauge monthly to ensure it is in the green and keep track of your service schedule, and you and your building can rest assured of your extinguisher’s reliability.

How Do I Dispose of a Bad Fire Extinguisher?

If when your fire extinguisher is serviced, your Confires inspector recommends replacement, you will have to dispose of your old extinguisher properly. This is a simple but exact process, so be sure to follow procedure carefully. If you have any questions or would like assistance, give the Confires team a call and we will gladly help to dispose of your distinguisher safely in NJ, DE, or PA.

If your extinguisher is partially or completely full, start by releasing any pressure remaining in the container. To release pressure, squeeze the top to let out a bit of extinguishing agent. You should not release the entire contents of the bottle; rather, you simply want to start the pressure release process. Once you have done this, wait for the needle on the gauge to fall to zero—this could take a few hours up to a few days. After it has reached zero, you can take it to a hazardous waste center, where their technicians can recycle both the extinguishing agent and the shell. You can also inquire with your local fire department to see if they accept expired extinguishers.

If your fire extinguisher is mostly or fully empty, be sure to empty what may remain by squeezing the handle and releasing the agent. Once it is empty, remove the head so that no one confuses it for a full container. You can then recycle the shell; it should be accepted by most recycling centers.

Schedule Fire Extinguisher Services

If the fire extinguishers in your New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia building require servicing, you can rely on the Confires professionals to get the job done. We have over 30 years of experience in the fire protection industry and can ensure your fire extinguishers are up to the task of putting out a fire. The services we offer include:

To schedule services, please contact Confires online or by phone at 888-228-0917 today!

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