There is a fire extinguisher in almost every building you walk into. Believe it or not, fire extinguishers do have an expiration date. So if you are someone who is in charge of running a building you will have to be aware of this and make sure that you stay on top of it. You do not want to have to use it and the fire extinguisher not be up to snuff. That could get you in a heap of trouble.
Fire extinguisher life span
The exact shelf life of a fire extinguisher varies from manufacturers to manufacturers. That also goes for whether the fire extinguisher can be recharged or it has to be disposed of.
According to the experts, a rechargeable fire extinguisher needs to be recharged every 6 years, whereas disposable fire extinguishers must be replaced every 12 years. If you do not know whether you have a rechargeable or disposable fire extinguisher, you can tell just by looking at the head.
A rechargeable fire extinguisher has a metal head with a gauge that reads charge/recharge, while a disposable extinguisher has a plastic head with a gauge that reads full/empty.
Making sure your fire extinguisher works
There are a few things you can do every month to make sure that your fire extinguisher is working as well as it possibly can. Most fire extinguishers come with a pressure gauge that will let you know the pressure level of the internal contents.
If the gauge level falls too low, which is easy to know because the needle will fall out of the green zone, you will know it is time to replace your extinguisher. Also, a lot of extinguishers have an inspection tag or sticker that will tell you the maintenance and service history of your extinguisher.
If you have an extinguisher that has not been recently looked at, it should be inspected and maybe even replaced. If your extinguisher is missing either a pressure gauge or an inspection tag, you should have it inspected or replaced too because without either of those things, it is nearly impossible to know whether or not your extinguisher will work or not.
Also, if you take a look at your fire extinguisher and see any loose parts or damaged goods, it is just safer to throw it out and find a new replacement.
Unused fire extinguishers
If you have had a fire extinguisher in your house or building for over 15 years, more likely than not it has expired and needs to be replaced. If you are not sure how old your extinguisher is or when you got it, one place to check is the bottom of the extinguisher or on its label for a manufacturer date.
That way you will have an idea of just how old your extinguisher is and whether or not it needs to be replaced. Again, you do not want to have an emergency and have your fire extinguisher let you down. There are steps for you to take to avoid that and it would be wise if you did.