Back to Blog

What Should I Do With an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

As a business owner in New Jersey, Delaware, or Philadelphia, you understand the importance of portable fire extinguishers. Hopefully, you have the correct types installed in the right places to provide optimal protection for your building. But when do fire extinguishers expire? And once they do, how do you dispose of them safely? Find the answers to your questions here.

How Long Does a Fire Extinguisher Last?

With proper care, fire extinguishers should last at least 10 to 12 years. Once they reach this age, you should have them hydrostatically tested to check the integrity of the shell. If it holds up under high pressure, you can recharge the canister and continue to use it for a few more years. If not, you should replace the fire extinguisher.

When is it Time to Replace a Fire Extinguisher?

You know you should dispose of an old fire extinguisher if:

  • The canister is slowly losing pressure, even though you haven’t used it in a long time.
  • The hose or nozzle is cracked or clogged, which could make the extinguisher unreliable.
  • The handle is wobbly or broken, making it difficult to hold.
  • The shell is damaged, creating a safety hazard.
  • The shell fails the hydrostatic test, meaning it couldn’t withstand pressures up to 500 psi.
  • You’ve had the same disposable fire extinguisher for 12 years (this style can’t be recharged).

What Should I Do with an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

If you’re not sure about the safety and reliability of your fire extinguishers, call Confires for an inspection. We’ll recommend recharging or replacing your canisters based on what we find.

If you decide to replace your fire extinguishers, you can’t simply throw the old ones in the trash. Pressurized chemicals can be extremely dangerous when mishandled, so take the time to dispose of the canisters properly. Here’s how.

  • For fully or partially charged fire extinguishers, call your local fire department and ask if you can drop off expired fire extinguishers at the firehouse. If they don’t accept old canisters, take your extinguishers to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
  • For empty fire extinguishers, squeeze the lever to make sure the pressure has been completely released. Remove the extinguisher head to make it apparent that the canister is empty. Call a local recycling facility and ask about dropping off the steel shell.

Schedule Fire Extinguisher Services

If the fire extinguishers in your New Jersey, Eastern Pennsylvania and Northern Delaware building require servicing, count on Confires for the job. 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!

Category: Fire Extinguishers