Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?

Fire extinguishers do expire. When a fire occurs, the only thing that may be available to protect your home or business is a fire extinguisher. However, you want to ensure that your fire extinguisher works, but only if it hasn’t reached its expiration date. There are many things you should familiarize yourself with when it comes to the length of time it will take for an extinguisher to expire.

Fire Extinguisher Expiration

Are you asking, “How do I know if my fire extinguisher is expired?” It may not be easy to tell when it will expire. This is because the expiration date is not listed on the body of any extinguisher as regular products. With that being said, there are certain rules you should be aware of when it comes to how long you should use your extinguisher. The length of time depends on the type of extinguisher you have.

If your extinguisher has dry chemicals, it will typically have a service period between 6 and 12 years. However, if your extinguisher has wet chemical types and carbon dioxide, you can expect it to last up to 5 years.

Furthermore, you should be aware that the first alert fire extinguisher expiration date doesn’t mean that it will stop working altogether afterward. But for safety purposes, it is recommended that you take your extinguisher for hydrostatic tests so you can confirm the integrity of its shell.

Fire Extinguisher Replacement

Maintenance plays a role when it comes to replacing a fire extinguisher. As the device is being used, it collects dust and rust and sustains damage that may affect its ability to perform well. This is why it is important that hydrostatic tests are completed at regular frequencies. These tests check the shell of the fire extinguishers. The shell only needs to be checked because the contents inside never expire. However, the container can lose some of its pressure over time which may, in turn, make the extinguisher unreliable.

The best way to check and see if your extinguisher should be replaced is by checking the pressure gauge. Once this has been completed, you should have a hydrostatic test completed. If the extinguisher fails this test, it should not be used. However, if it passes the test, you can have it charged for use again. Depending on the type of extinguisher you have, it may last an additional 5 to 12 years before another test needs to be completed.

Caring for Your Fire Extinguisher

The best way to care for your extinguisher is by having maintenance inspections performed on them at least once a year. Additionally, you should have internal maintenance completed every six years. Always keep your extinguisher indoors so it remains protected from dust, sun, rain, and other things. By doing so, you will extend its life. If it has to be outside, keep it covered or inside an extinguisher cabinet.