Portable fire extinguishers are an essential part of any commercial fire prevention system.

However, have you ever asked yourself, what is a fire extinguisher’s lifespan, how do I know it is time to replace and how do I dispose of it? We are going to explore those answers today.

The Lifespan of a Fire Extinguisher

When properly maintained, fire extinguishers can last about 10 to 12 years. Once they get to that point, however, you should have them tested to make sure they’re safe. If the shell is in good shape, you can probably recharge the canister and continue to use it. If not, replace it as soon as possible.

When It’s Time

Here’s when you should replace your old fire extinguisher:

  • If the hose or nozzle is cracked or clogged
  • If the canister is losing pressure even if it hasn’t been used in a while
  • If the handle is broken or wobbly, making it unstable and difficult to hold
  • If the shell of the extinguisher is damaged
  • If there’s no pin or the pin is damaged
  • If there isn’t an inspection tag
  • If it fails a test by a fire safety professional

What do I do with it?

The first thing you should do is call a fire safety company to inspect the extinguishers. Disposing of them isn’t a complicated process, but it IS a pretty precise process. It’s best to let the pros handle it. Pressurized chemicals are dangerous – especially when not handled properly – so take the time and money and make sure you do it right.

If you don’t have a Fire Safety company that’s reasonable or in your local area, then call the fire department. Most of them will let you drop them off at the firehouse. If they don’t, take them to a hazardous waste disposal facility.

Ongoing maintenance is a good idea

To avoid having to worry and constantly think about whether your extinguishers are safe or not – hire a fire safety company to perform regularly scheduled maintenance. If they find a problem or notice that a replacement is necessary, they’ll do it.

If you’re worried about your workplace fire extinguishers’ condition, give Protegis Fire & Safety a call. Stay safe!