How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?

A fire extinguisher is an important first line of defense in an emergency. When it comes to ensuring the safety of a home or business, having a quality fire extinguisher is an essential component of any fire prevention plan. However, it’s important to understand  how long your fire extinguishers last and when you need to replace it to ensure you stay safe from fires.

How Do You Know When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher?

Knowing the signs that you need to replace a fire extinguisher needs is critical to effective fire prevention. When you inspect your fire extinguisher, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Discolored or corroded parts. This may indicate that the fire extinguisher has been exposed to harsh elements and is likely no longer safe to use.
  • Missing parts, such as safety pins, water level indicators, or tamper seals. This may be a sign of tampering or attempted theft of the fire extinguisher.
  • Faulty pressure gauges. If this is not working properly, it could mean that the fire extinguisher needs to be filled with more pressurized material.
  • Dents or bulges in its metal body. This may indicate that its contents have shifted due to an impact and should be checked for proper operation.

It would be best if you always took the fire extinguisher for professional recharging or replacement as soon as possible. This will help keep it functioning properly and safely.

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Typically Last?

Fire extinguishers do indeed have an operational lifespan. Depending on their type and usage, you should inspect and service your fire extinguishers every few months or up to a year. Manufacturers recommend replacing them after five to fifteen years due to their performance and safety considerations.

While some may not need replacing as frequently, contacting your local fire safety authority for information specific to your location and usage is important. Proper inspection, maintenance, and replacement of fire extinguishers will guarantee the best response in a fire emergency.

Can Expired Fire Extinguishers Still Be Used in an Emergency?

For safety reasons, no. There’s a good chance that using a fire extinguisher past its expiration date will not put out a fire properly, putting you in serious danger.

It is always best to replace expired fire extinguishers with newer models, as you can then be confident that they will work effectively in an emergency. You really don’t want to take any chances when it comes to something as dangerous and destructive as a fire. This is why it is so important to keep up with regular maintenance schedules for all safety equipment.


While they do have a decent lifespan, fire extinguishers don’t last forever. Depending on the type of fire extinguisher and the manufacturer’s recommendations, it can typically last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. So, make sure you’re keeping track of your fire extinguishers’ expiration dates – you never know when you’re going to need it!

Think it’s time to service your fire extinguishers? We’d be happy to help! Click here to get in touch with the Fire-Alert team today.