Why do Fire Extinguishers Expire

If you have a fire extinguisher in your home or business you may think that you are protected. The fire extinguishers will help put out the fire and can save the building and lives.

There are some things that you need to be aware of regarding fire extinguishers. Most people do not know this but a fire extinguisher can expire. You now may be wondering who fire extinguishers expire. Here are some reasons why they do and what you need to be aware of.

Reasons Fire extinguishers Expire

Fire extinguisher

The design of the fire extinguishers is to be used once and disposed of. They are not meant to be used for multiple uses. The fire extinguishers are filled with super pressurized gas in the form of nitrogen or carbon dioxide.

This is meant to put off the flames and withstand the heat without making this worse. When the gas is put into the container it has been pressurized. When the pressure begins to decrease then the fire extinguisher cannot be used and needs to be replaced.

Over time the gases that are in the extinguisher will begin to lose their pressure. When the pressure is lost the ability to expel the fire retardant inside of the extinguisher decreases. A fire extinguisher is good for a long time. Most fire extinguishers can last for around 12 years before they lose enough pressure to be replaced.

How to Tell if the Fire Extinguisher is Expired

Fire Extinguisher

When you get a fire extinguisher the date should be stamped on it. If you do not see the stamp there are some others things you can use to tell if the fire extinguisher is expired. All of the fire extinguishers come with a pressure gauge.

When the needle on this gage is in the green year the pressure is good and the fire extinguisher can be used if needed. The size of the fire extinguisher will also determine how long it lasts as well as the type. This information can be found by the manufacturer.

Is the Fire Extinguisher Content Dangerous?

Most fire extinguishers will release dry dust made from sodium bicarbonate or monoammonium phosphate. Some of them may also contain carbon dioxide. These chemicals are not harmful but they may lead to irritation.

There are some concerns when it comes to the age of the fire extinguisher. As the contents age, they may contain other elements and may no longer be effective at putting out fires.

Help if Needed

Help if Needed

If you are not sure if your fire extinguisher is good or if you are unsure how to look at the gages on it there is help available to you. when in doubt contact your local fire department.

They will examine the fire extinguisher and will be able to tell you if it still can be used. They will even talk with you and advise you on how to use it properly if an emergency situation were to arise.

How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher

If you have an expired fire extinguisher in your home or business there is no point in keeping it around. If the fire extinguisher has expired or if it has been used you are going to have to replace it.

You should follow the manufacturer or look for instructions on the label. Dry chemicals may be emptied into a trash bag or they may be disposed of where acidic fertilizer is common. Do not just throw the fire extinguisher in the trash. When in doubt contact the fire department.

A fire extinguisher can be helpful in case of an emergency. The fire extinguisher can help put out small fires and keep them from spreading. While they are a useful tool to have in a home or business they do expire. You need to check your fire extinguisher every so often to make sure it is still good and will help in case of a fire emergency.

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