Can I Use an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

If you have an expired fire extinguisher, the answer is, unfortunately, no. Fire extinguishers don’t last forever, so you need to replace them once they reach their expiration date. Using an expired fire extinguisher can put you in danger, as it may not work correctly if there is a fire. If your fire extinguisher is about to expire, replace it right away!

Fire Extinguisher Expiration

Fire extinguishers do not have an explicit expiration date because the canister’s quality is more important. The better quality extinguishers will last longer, and regular maintenance will help them reach their full potential. Replace your fire extinguisher every 10 years as a rough estimate. You can find out how old your extinguisher is by looking at the body stamp on the canister.

Some extinguishers will endure longer than ten years if you get regular refills and restorations. However, getting a new one may be more expensive. Check the extinguisher’s pressure monthly, have it examined by a professional annually, and get an extended service if necessary. You’ll need a comprehensive service and refill for water, foam, and powder extinguishers every 5 years; CO2 extinguishers only need this every 10 year.

Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Fire Extinguisher

  • When your fire extinguisher’s seal is damaged or wears down, allowing the pressurized gas to escape, it needs to be replaced. This will cause the fire extinguisher’s pressure to drop, causing it to malfunction.
  • The chemical powder settles to the bottom of your fire extinguisher and gets compacted. If this happens, a professional fire protection company can empty and recharge your fire extinguisher, so you don’t have to replace it.
  • Replace the hose or nozzle if it’s damaged, ragged, or clogged.
  • The sealing or closing of the pin is incomplete or unsecured.
  • The handle is loose or damaged.
  • There is no inspection tag available.

How to Get Rid of Your Old Fire Extinguishers 

  • For a full fire extinguisher, call the local fire department and inquire whether they will take past-date extinguishers. If they cannot accept it, take the items to a hazardous waste disposal facility.
  • If your fire extinguisher is empty, squeeze the handle to ensure no pressure remains in it. To demonstrate that the canister is empty, remove the extinguisher’s head. Most recycling centers should accept the steel shell once it has been vacant.

The Bottom Line

It’s time to replace your fire extinguisher if it’s expired or old. The threat of personal injury to you or others is just too significant to take a gamble with it. Sure, some may function; but if you need to use one, what’s the point? The expense isn’t significant, and the degree of safety on its own should be more than enough for you to make an informed decision.

If your fire extinguishers are broken or expired, you should consider consulting a professional to help you select new ones, train, inspection, and so on. Stay safe and good luck until then!

If you’re looking for fire extinguisher professionals, you’ve come to the right place! Contact Fire-Alert today to discuss your needs.