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How To Safely Dispose & Replace Your Fire Extinguisher

Fire Extingushier on Wall

Fire extinguishers are essential for ensuring the safety of our homes and workplaces during an emergency event. But what do you do with a fire extinguisher past its prime? Proper fire extinguisher disposal is a critical consideration that homeowners and business owners must consider, especially when it comes time to replace these life-saving systems.

We’ll walk you through the steps to safely and responsibly dispose of your fire extinguisher, so you can ensure the safety of everyone around you.

Recognizing When It’s Time To Dispose of Your Fire Extinguisher

Before we look at the disposal process, it’s important to understand when your fire extinguisher has reached the end of its life span. The following are just a few signs that indicate it’s time to consider replacing your fire extinguisher:

  • Expiration Date Has Passed: Fire extinguishers come with expiration dates. If yours has expired, it may not function properly during a fire event.
  • Pressure Gauge is Low: Check the pressure gauge on your fire extinguisher. If it shows low pressure or overcharging, the extinguisher may be compromised.
  • Visible Damage or Corrosion: Any visible damage, corrosion, or rust on the fire extinguisher’s body or nozzle is a clear sign that it needs to be replaced.
  • Previous Usage of Extinguisher: Even if your fire extinguisher has been partially used, it’s best to replace it if it’s been previously used.
  • Fire Extinguished Failed Inspection: If your fire extinguisher has failed an inspection or is not up to code, it’s time to replace it.

3 Steps for Proper Disposal of Fire Extinguishers

If you’ve determined that your fire extinguisher needs to be replaced, you’ll need to understand the proper steps for safe disposal of your old equipment. Follow the steps below to ensure it’s done responsibly:

  1. Check Local Regulations & Facilities: Before disposing of your fire extinguisher, research local regulations and facilities that accept them. Some areas have specific guidelines for hazardous waste disposal.
  2. Ensure Extinguisher is Fully Discharged: Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to discharge the extinguisher. Ensure it’s empty before proceeding with disposal.
  3. Exercise Extinguisher Safety Precautions: Safety should always be the number-one priority. When discharging the extinguisher, wear protective gear, including safety glasses and gloves, in a well-vented area away from open flames or sparks.

Where To Take Your Fire Extinguisher for Disposal

After you’ve safely discharged your fire extinguisher and are prepared for disposal, it’s time to find an appropriate disposal location. Here are a few options to consider including hazardous waste disposal facilities, fire departments, and recycling centers.

Remember, you should not throw your fire extinguisher in the regular trash or recycling bins. Improper disposal can lead to environmental hazards and endanger waste management personnel.

Replacing Your Old Fire Extinguisher

Now that you’ve safely removed your old fire extinguisher, it’s time to consider a replacement model. Having a functional fire extinguisher on your premises is critical for ensuring fire safety during an emergency. Here are a few key considerations to keep in mind when selecting your new fire extinguisher:

  • Size: Choose a size appropriate for the area you need to protect. Fire extinguishers come in different sizes, so select one that meets your needs.
  • Type: There are different types of fire extinguishers designed to combat various types of fire events, such as Class A (ordinary combustibles), Class B (flammable liquids), and Class C (electrical fires). Select the type that matches the potential fire hazards present in your environment.
  • Certification: Look for fire extinguishers that have passed inspection and certification tests by reputable organizations like UL (Underwriters Laboratories) and FM Global.

Get Help With Unifour Fire & Safety

Proper disposal of fire extinguishers is crucial for safety and environmental purposes. By recognizing the signs of needed extinguisher replacement and following the necessary steps for safe disposal, you can ensure a safer environment for everyone around you.

If you’re unsure how to dispose of your equipment or need help choosing a replacement system, Unifour Fire & Safety has you covered. Since 1984, our fire safety experts have offered comprehensive fire extinguisher solutions that families and business owners throughout the Southeastern U.S. trust to keep them safe.

Call our team at 866-511-5540 to request fire extinguisher replacement services for your property today!