What’s the Average Fire Extinguisher Expiration Time?

You’ll find a wide variety of types of fire extinguishers on the market, in various shapes, uses and sizes. It’s important to have one or two available at convenient points in your home in case an accident occurs and you need to quickly and safely put out a fire. However, what many people don’t realize is that a fire extinguisher won’t last you forever—you’ll need to check the extinguisher on a regular basis to make sure it’s still usable and that it is still pressurized to an appropriate level. By making these regular checks, you can ensure you’ll be fully prepared for an emergency scenario in your home or business.

As a general rule, you can expect most extinguishers to be good for anywhere from five to 15 years. Here’s some information you should know about when you should replace a fire extinguisher that’s been sitting out for too long:

  • Always read the manufacturer’s directions: The label on the fire extinguisher should contain the manufacturer’s information about the shelf life of the fire extinguisher, which will give you a good idea of whether or not it’s already expired. If that information isn’t on the label, you should be able to call the manufacturer and inquire about your specific model.
  • Look for damage: It’s not unusual for people to accidentally bump into their fire extinguishers while maneuvering through their home or business, especially in areas like kitchens or workshops where you’re likely to also be carrying other items. It’s okay for there to be some scrapes on the surface of the device, but if there is damage to the hose or nozzle, a missing locking pin or a bad handle, then these are all signs that you should just replace the extinguisher.
  • Regularly check the pressure: We already noted that it’s important for you to take routine readings of the pressure in your fire extinguisher. The fire extinguisher will have a pressure gauge located somewhere on it, and your manufacturer will be able to tell you what the ideal pressure should be. Depending on the model of fire extinguisher, the gauge may have a green zone on it, and if the needle is within that green area, you should be good to go. If it’s anywhere else, you’ll need to replace the extinguisher. It’s important to do so as soon as possible so you don’t leave your property unprotected during a potential fire situation.
  • Get it inspected: You should have your fire extinguisher serviced once a year. When service appointments occur, there should be an inspection sticker or tag that logs that maintenance checkup. If you don’t see a sticker or tag, it’s probably a good idea to just get rid of the extinguisher and purchase a new one so you can actually have a good idea of its maintenance history and maintain a good comfort level with regard to your safety.

If you have a fire extinguisher that has passed the average fire extinguisher expiration date, contact a fire extinguisher service in Lawrenceville, GA like AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc. right away.

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