What to Do If You Accidentally Discharge a Fire Extinguisher

When you accidentally discharge a fire extinguisher, it can be a chaotic experience. Whether someone bumps into it or mistakenly pulls the trigger, the consequences are immediate, and the mess can leave you rubbing your head. So, what do you do? Do you need to call in a professional, or can you just take care of things at home? 


In this article, we’ll go through the steps to take when you accidentally discharge a fire extinguisher.


Understanding the Different Types of Fire Extinguishers


Before we get into what to do, it’s important to note that different types of fire extinguishers have different substances inside them. This means that some are harder to clean up than others. For example, a dry chemical extinguisher uses chemical agents to put out the fire, while a water-based extinguisher uses water. 


If you accidentally discharge a dry chemical extinguisher, it can create a fine dust that can be difficult to clean up. It can even irritate your eyes, nose, and skin. But if you accidentally discharge a water-based extinguisher, it can create a big mess and potentially cause electrical hazards if the water comes into contact with electric appliances.


Step 1: Clean Up the Mess


If you’re sure there’s no danger of fire or explosion, then you’ll likely want to begin by cleaning up the mess. But since there are different types of fire extinguishers, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all cleaning method.


Once you identify the type of fire extinguisher that has been discharged, then you can learn how to properly clean up fire extinguisher residue here.


Step 2: Recharge the Extinguisher


Now that the area is clean, it’s time to recharge the fire extinguisher. Your fire extinguisher is only effective if it’s in good working order. So as tempting as it may be, you don’t want to put this off.


To make sure your fire extinguisher is ready to go the next time you need it, be sure to contact a professional fire extinguisher service for recharging as soon as possible. Unless it’s expired, that is.


Step 3: Dispose of and Replace Fire Extinguisher If Needed


If you notice that your discharged fire extinguisher has expired, then it can’t be recharged. Instead, you’ll need to dispose of it properly to prevent harm to the environment. Fortunately, many cities offer hazardous waste disposal services that will take care of your discharged extinguisher for you. Check with your local government for more information on how to dispose of a damaged fire extinguisher.


You should then replace your fire extinguisher immediately. You never know when you’ll need it!


Step 4: Prevent Accidental Discharge of Fire Extinguishers


When you accidentally discharge a fire extinguisher, you’ve got a messy and potentially dangerous situation on your hands. Here are a few tips to avoid this scenario altogether:


  • Ensure all fire extinguishers are properly secured and mounted on the wall
  • Train yourself and others on how to properly handle and use fire extinguishers
  • Regularly inspect fire extinguishers to ensure they are not damaged, expired, or in need of maintenance
  • Avoid hanging objects near fire extinguishers that could bump into them


The Bottom Line


Accidentally discharging a fire extinguisher can happen, but it doesn’t have to be a disastrous situation if you know what to do. One of the most important things to remember is that different types of extinguishers require different methods of clean-up, so you’ll need to identify yours before taking care of the mess.


Otherwise, by following the necessary steps and tips, you can ensure the safety of yourself and those around you in case of a fire emergency. Stay safe and be prepared!


Do your fire extinguishers need to be recharged? If so, we’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with Fire-Alert, and take advantage of our mobile services today.