The life span of a fire extinguisher

Written by m.a. helt
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The life span of a fire extinguisher
Fire extinguishers should be checked regularly for signs of damage. (robertiez/iStock/Getty Images)

According to fire extinguisher manufacturer First Alert, the lifespan of an extinguisher depends on many factors. Consumers should rely primarily on visual checks to determine when the extinguisher needs to be replaced. Manufacturers recommend replacing extinguishers after 12 years, even if no damage is found.

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Damage signs

Regardless of a fire extinguisher's age, regularly check your fire extinguisher and replace it if you spot any damage. Signs of damage include cracking on the hose or nozzle. You also should replace it if the nozzle is blocked with debris, or the handle is wobbly, broken or missing.

Pressure indicator

Fire extinguishers have pressure indicator valves that should be inspected monthly, according to manufacturer Kidde. If the indicator needle is not in the green or full area the extinguisher may not work properly and should be replaced.

Disposal

If your fire extinguisher shows signs of damage or the gauge reads empty, it is time to replace it. If you have a fire extinguisher with a gauge reading full, take it to your local fire station or council-run household recycling centre. If the gauge reads empty, you can remove the plastic top and recycle the steel body at a recycling centre.

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