If you have a fire extinguisher in your home, you need to know how to dispose of fire extinguisher properly. A fire extinguisher is only effective if it is in good condition and knows how to use it correctly. If it’s time to get rid of your old extinguisher, make sure you do it safely and responsibly. This blog post will discuss how to dispose of a fire extinguisher safely and efficiently.
Does Your Fire Extinguisher Need to be Replaced?
It’s crucial to check whether a fire extinguisher can still be used or recharged before deciding whether it needs to be destroyed. Fire Extinguishers can last more than 20 years with regular maintenance and an appropriate inspection regimen.
Maintenance & Inspection
Although there is no exact expiration date for standard fire extinguishers, disposable fire extinguishers—which are not rechargeable or refillable—should be replaced every twelve years. While regular fire extinguishers do not have the same lifetime as traditional ones, they may become outdated or lose pressure, rendering them ineffective.
Regular inspections are required to determine the status and effectiveness of a fire extinguisher. Visual inspections can show whether something is seriously wrong or damaged with the fire extinguisher, but annual reviews by a professional fire safety expert are required to judge its efficiency.
When to Replace
A professional fire safety technician will conduct an in-depth evaluation of the fire extinguisher’s condition during an inspection, including gauge pressure and any damage to the exterior shell or valve.
If something appears wrong during an inspection, facility managers may request the intervention of a professional. The following are some indications that the fire extinguisher should be replaced:
- Pressure slowly drops over time
- Rust or corrosion on the surface
- Excessive harm
- Instructions that are difficult to read
The fire safety technician will also do hydrostatic testing on the extinguisher’s cylinder to ensure its integrity. If the fire extinguisher fails this test, it is no longer effective and must be changed as soon as possible.
What Should I Do with An Expired Fire Extinguisher?
If a fire extinguisher is relatively new, specific components may be restored occasionally. If you’re unsure whether to repair or replace an unreliable fire extinguisher, call Guardian Fire Protection for an evaluation. We’ll provide our expert opinion based on the findings.
If your fire extinguishers need to be replaced, you can’t just toss them out because they’re classified as hazardous materials. After all, high-pressure chemicals might be deadly if mishandled.
3 Methods for Disposing of Your Fire Extinguisher
The three most secure methods for extinguisher disposal are recycling it when empty, delivering it to a fire department, or taking it to a specialized facility.
- If the canister is empty, recycle it. If an extinguisher is empty, it’s safe to discard it with your garbage because it no longer contains hazardous substances. You may wish to inquire about the best method for recycling the canister with your local waste management service.
- If completely or partially charged, call the fire department. Some local fire departments welcome portable fire extinguisher donations. Before leaving charged extinguishers, call ahead of time to be sure they’ll take them.
- Take the extinguisher to a hazardous waste disposal facility. If your local fire department doesn’t accept drop-offs, you may transport the extinguisher to your area’s hazardous waste disposal facility. The majority of cities and counties have their own dangerous local waste facility. Check for locations in your area and make a drop-off appointment before you go. Before you depart, ask about specific hazard types and any limitations.
Why does proper disposal and replacement of fire extinguishers matter?
Unattended fire extinguishers that are still under pressure may erupt. A typical 20-pound ABC fire extinguisher has a working pressure of over 150 pounds per square inch, which must be released somewhere if the extinguisher is crushed or damaged. An extinguisher was inadvertently placed in the garbage, where it exploded when the compactor compacted the metal cylinder. The waste sprayed out from behind the van, but the sanitation staff was fortunate: no one was hurt or killed due to this incident.
However, a typical fire extinguisher may quickly transform into a deadly projectile because of its metal shell. An employee working at an Army Reserve facility was killed in 2014 by an extinguisher left in a dumpster, according to OSHA’s 2014 incident report. The gadget exploded during a trash removal operation, fatally injuring a 42-year-old forklift operator.
Why can’t I throw away my extinguisher in the trash?
When you try to dispose of a fire extinguisher in the trash, you might unintentionally put someone in danger. The high-pressure chemicals inside the cylinder can explode if not handled properly, and the steel casing is also recyclable.
Most portable fire extinguishers contain powdered CO2, regardless of the type. Water, halon, halon alternative clean agents, or dry or wet chemical are used in other extinguishers. The bottom line is that throwing a charged fire extinguisher away with the trash isn’t safe.
Safety First… And Last
A fire extinguisher is a necessary component of any facility’s fire prevention strategy. A faulty or out-of-date fire extinguisher, on the other hand, may put personnel’ and surrounding property’s lives at risk if there is a fire. These security measures must be maintained and recharged correctly to fulfill their goals to function correctly.
While a visual examination may indicate that a fire extinguisher is malfunctioning, only professionals with experience in fire safety should conduct thorough inspections and maintenance procedures.
How often should I get my fire extinguisher serviced?
At a minimum, you should have your fire extinguishers inspected yearly. However, depending on the type of business, how often you use them, and other factors, you may need to have them serviced more frequently.
Can I dispose of my old fire extinguisher myself?
It is not recommended that you try to dispose of your fire extinguisher yourself. You should always consult with a professional to ensure that it is done correctly and safely.
What are the consequences of not properly disposing of my fire extinguisher?
If you do not dispose of your fire extinguisher correctly, it could explode and cause damage or injury.