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Should a Person Use an Expired Fire Extinguisher?
Very simple - NO! A fire extinguisher will last for 10-12 years and then it needs to be checked by a professional to make sure it is safe to use. Regular maintenance is vital. Should the fire extinguisher not be safe anymore, it will need to be replaced.
When Should Your Fire Protection be Replaced?
1. If the pin is unsealed or missing.
2. If the seal around the top of the extinguisher is broken, which will allow the air to escape.
3. When the inspection tag is missing.
4. When the nozzle or hose is clogged, ripped or cracked.
5. When the chemical powder settles at the bottom of the extinguisher.
6. If the handle is wobbly or broken.
Fire Extinguisher Disposal
Due to the pressurized chemicals, you cannot just throw an extinguisher away. Steps need to be taken before disposal.
If it is not empty:
Contact your fire department and find out if you can drop it off there. If they cannot take it, take the extinguisher to a hazardous waste facility.
If it is empty:
Squeeze the lever to get rid of all the pressure in the extinguisher. Take of the head - this is so that whoever disposes of it knows that it is empty.
Most recycling companies will accept the steel body once the head has been removed.