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Your Guide to the Dangers of Using Expired Fire Extinguishers

fire extinguishers

Are you aware that 140 firefighters died in the United States in 2020? That’s more than double the amount of deaths in the previous year. The best fire response plan involves nipping any issues in the bud before they grow too big to handle. That way, you can save the lives of your staff, your customers, firefighters, and others. You may be surprised to learn that fire extinguishers don’t last forever.

Are you wondering if your fire extinguishers are too old or not? Keep reading for a brief but in-depth guide to the dangers of using expired fire extinguishers.

Why Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?

There are two main types of fire extinguishers. One type uses nitrogen, and the other uses carbon dioxide. In both cases, this gas is pressurized so that it can spray the fire and smother it until it’s completely deprived of oxygen and gone for good.

However, some people don’t realize that the pressure of both these gases lessens over time. Once the pressure has been reduced by too much, the fire extinguisher will be rendered ineffective. This is why it’s crucial to have a fire extinguisher checked on a regular basis.

Are Expired Fire Extinguishers Safe to Use?

Put in the simplest terms possible, a safety risk is involved with using a fire extinguisher past its expiration date. The last thing you’d want is to grab a fire extinguisher in the middle of an emergency and discover that it won’t work.

An expired fire extinguisher either won’t spray at all or what it does spray won’t do much to put out the fire. The good news is that proper fire extinguishers have dates on them so that you’ll never have to guess whether it’s expired or not.

How Do I Dispose of an Expired Fire Extinguisher?

Have you discovered that your building has one or more expired fire extinguishers? If so, it’s important to dispose of them in the proper manner. Throwing them out with the rest of your trash could prove dangerous to others, including waste management employees.

This is due to the fact that a fire extinguisher contains hazardous chemicals. It’s even possible for a fire extinguisher to explode if it gets thrown into a trash compactor, for instance.

Instead, most cities have a designated drop-off point for items like fire extinguishers, propane tanks, and more.

Are You Ready to Avoid Expired Fire Extinguishers?

Now that you’ve learned all about the dangers of using expired fire extinguishers, you can ensure that the ones available in an emergency are always safe and sound.

For well over 20 years, we’ve provided our clients with full-service fire protection and life safety. From fire alarms and fire sprinklers to fire extinguishers and suppression systems, we can ensure that everything is running smoothly.

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or to request a quote. While you’re at it, do follow our blog for up-to-date info on everything related to fire safety and more.