How to recharge & refill a fire extinguisher

Updated February 21, 2017

Every home and business should have fire extinguishers to protect against the threat of fire. They are a great asset when it comes to stopping a fire from reaching an uncontrollable stage and are more effective than water because they coat the source of the fire with flame-resistant chemicals. Fire extinguishers should be refilled after every use, if they haven't been used for six years, or if the needle on the pressure gauge slips into the red.

Check your fire extinguisher for a metal valve where the nozzle connects to the tank. If it has a metal valve it is refillable; if it has a plastic valve you will need to buy a new extinguisher.

Call your local fire station to ask if they offer a refilling service for residents. Some districts may outsource this service. They will offer guidance about who to call.

Call the most convenient company to ensure they offer this service. Take the fire extinguisher to them to have it refilled, for which there may be a fee; usually averaging between £9 and £13.


Fill extinguishers with only certified chemicals or foams. Do not try filling your fire extinguisher on your own. Fire extinguishers should only be filled by trained and certified professionals.

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About the Author

Currently based in Minneapolis, Minn., Eric Blankenburg has been a freelance journalist since 2000. His articles have appeared in "Outside Missoula, Outside Bozeman," "Hello Chengdu" and online at and various other websites. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in creative writing from the University of Montana.