Do You Know When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher?

Even though you’ll find fire extinguishers in almost every building and residence in the country, few people realize that these safety devices only last for so long. In particular, homeowners and small business owners often fail to maintain and replace fire extinguishers as needed. To keep your property and yourself safe, you should know the fire extinguisher lifespan in Lawrenceville, GA.

How long does a fire extinguisher last?

The standard types of fire extinguishers people purchase for their homes or businesses include carbon dioxide (CO2), water and wet chemical. You can expect a minimum lifespan of a fire extinguisher in Lawrenceville, GA of five years for any one of these devices. A dry chemical extinguisher has a minimum 12-year lifespan.

What happens at the end of its lifespan?

After those years pass, your fire extinguisher should undergo hydrostatic testing. This puts the high pressure on the extinguisher’s cylinder to determine shell quality. If the shell holds up during the test, you can recharge the extinguisher to have it available for use over the course of the next five or 12 years (depending on the type).

What if I don’t know the age of the fire extinguisher?

When you purchase a fire extinguisher, the device comes with information about its life. There’s usually an inspection label or tag on the extinguisher that tells you when the device needs testing and/or recharging.

If you don’t have the information that originally came with the fire extinguisher and/or there’s no label or tag on it, you’ll want to check the pressure gauge. The needle on the gauge should remain in the green range. If the needle points elsewhere, have the extinguisher tested.

Extend your fire extinguisher’s lifespan

To extend your fire extinguisher’s lifespan in Lawrenceville, GA, you want to perform maintenance tasks annually. Physically check the extinguisher for any damage or wear and tear to the nozzle, release lever, hose or cylinder tank. Make sure the pin and tamper seal remain intact. Remove any buildup such as dust, grease or chemical deposits. Place the extinguisher somewhere accessible that’s not easily blocked by furniture, storage containers or doors.

Note any dents, leaks or rust. You need to keep an eye on these warning signs, as they could prevent you from stopping a fire in the future. If the damage seems extensive, have the device professionally inspected or replace it.

Fire extinguisher maintenance

When a fire happens, you’re the first line of defense before the firefighters arrive. You need a reliable fire extinguisher handy to help you handle the situation before it grows out of control. Without a fire extinguisher, you risk losing your property and potentially hurting yourself, others and surrounding buildings.

Fire extinguisher care ensures you have the equipment to fight off a fire. Property owners should work with a company specializing in annual maintenance, hydrostatic testing, on-site recharging and inspections, like AAA Fire Protection Resources, Inc.

If you need help maintaining your fire extinguishers or you want to learn more about the lifespan of a fire extinguisher in Lawrenceville, GA, reach out to us today.

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