Fire Extinguishers: Do They Expire?

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If you’ve had your fire extinguisher for a while, it’s common to wonder if they expire. If you’ve had a fire extinguisher in your property for five or more years, you might be considering that it’s time for a replacement.

The good news is, any types of fire extinguishers don’t usually expire. They do, however, need recharging, which is especially the case after you discharge or use them.

When Do I Need to a Fire Extinguisher Recharge?

The foolproof way of knowing if you need a recharge is to have your fire extinguishers inspected. You can do this yourself once a month; a professional inspection is also strongly advised once a year. The most vital thing to take note of is to make sure that you see the pressure gauze’s needle in the green zone. This indicates that the fire extinguishers have a full charge and will be ready to use when you need it. If the needle is in the red zone, contact your fire safety and protection company right away.


Replace or Recharge?

There’s no one right answer. If the fire extinguisher is relatively new (not more than five years old), then you can recharge it. However, replacing any types of fire extinguishers is just as good of an option, if not better; replacing fire extinguishers typically costs the same as recharging them. Additionally, getting a brand new one will guarantee that the item will work without a glitch.

 Aging Signs

A principal cause of fire extinguishers not functioning correctly is that it is too old, and as a result, waned in performance. Below are the signs of age to look for in your fire extinguishers.

  • There is no inspection tag. When you don’t even see an inspection tag that states when the last time your fire extinguisher was last inspected, then your best bet is to dispose of it.
  • The hose is split, cracked, or shows any signs of wear and tear.
  • There is no pin.
  • The handle is flimsy or broken.
  • The neck seal shows signs of damage and weakening. A weak neck seal reduces the pressure that is being released when the fire extinguisher is used.



Aside from the annual fire extinguisher inspection, a hydrotesting inspection every 12 years is also recommended. Hydrotesting is the best way to check for any disintegration or cracks of the exterior shell. This type of testing will also help determine if your older fire extinguishers are still usable.


 Proper Disposal

 When it comes to disposing fire extinguishers, you can’t just toss it in the bin and call it a day. This piece of device is pressurized; thus, it’s potentially hazardous to dispose of it, and you can’t treat it as just normal waste.

If the extinguisher is not entirely empty yet, you have two disposal options. You can get in touch with your local fire department to check if they can take it, or you can take it to the nearest hazardous waste disposal place. These are your best options for safely disposing of this piece of equipment.

On the other hand, if the fire extinguisher is empty, then disposing of it is more straightforward. You can just press the lever to make sure that all the pressure is released. Then, take the top off to display that the can is empty before taking it to a recycling facility. Most places will accept any types of empty fire extinguishers if they can recycle steel.

 Important Fire Protection Device

The mere sight of a fire extinguisher within your facilities can make anyone feel safer. However, without the proper handling and maintenance, these fire protection devices will not function appropriately when you need it. Different types of fire extinguishers work best in different environments. No matter what the type is, fire extinguishers are an essential device when it comes to fire protection.

To keep safe from fires, it’s your responsibility to keep these devices well maintained. Get in touch with fire protection technicians, who have the experience and expertise, to make sure your fire extinguishers are still up to the task of keeping you safe from fires at all times. These professionals can also provide fire alarm systems installation, maintenance, and inspection, as well as risk assessment and fire safety training.