How Long Does A Fire Extinguisher Last (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 to 12 years

Portable fire extinguishers are used to put out spot fires or minimize the damage they cause before firefighters arrive. These are kept in locations such as fire stations, houses, industrial plants, public locations, and transportation. The kinds and numbers of fire extinguishers that are legally obliged for a specific area are ruled by safety laws in influence in that area.

Fire suppression agents are managed to keep under pressure in the cylinders by using light air, co2, or compounds that emit gas when ignited. When the security lock is released and the button is pressed, the components of the canister are forced out at elevated pressure through the nozzle.

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How Long Does A Fire Extinguisher Last?

Types of extinguisherLasts for
Chemical extinguisher5 to 12 years
Water extinguisher 5 years

You can expect a new greenhouse gas, high-pressure water, or chemical solution extinguisher to last for a minimum of 5 years. The lifespan of dry extinguishers is 12 years.

A fire extinguisher’s lifespan is determined by several factors. As per the user’s handbook, extinguishers must be tested once a week. The extinguisher is properly pressurized and prepared to use if the indicator turns green or the needle signal keeps popping up when pushed.

If an extinguisher has been used, replace or service it immediately if you see any of these:

  • A faulty or leaking seal inhibits the canister from retaining a charge.
  • A blocked, fractured, or torn tip or hose, might cause the extinguisher to malfunction if you use it.
  • Fraud evidence, such as an open or damaged bobby pin or harm to the outside shell.
  • A shaky or damaged handle might make using the extinguisher problematic.
  • A missing inspection sticker makes it hard to determine when the previous service was performed.
  • Corrosion or humidity from a moist climate might make the trigger or tip fail.
  • Soft elements may occur if the extinguisher is mounted in an area where machinery or automobiles cause excessive vibrations.
  • A canister that has been bounced or fell, may lead to a pinhole leak or problems with other vital parts.

Many of the issues may be resolved, allowing you to continue using extinguishers for many years. But, when the damage is irrevocable, it’s time to put the cylinder away for good. If a skilled fire prevention firm advises you to dispose of an extinguisher, follow these steps to do it safely:

  • Contact a local fire safety agency to see whether you may drop off the extinguisher if it is fully or partially charged. If there isn’t one nearby, transport the canister to a dangerous dumping site.
  • Depress the lever if the extinguisher is empty to verify no leftover air exists. Then, take off the head to show that canister is vacant. Inquire with your steel mill recycling facility on dumping off the extinguisher.

Why Does A Fire Extinguisher Last For So Long?

To guarantee proper shell durability, a fire extinguisher must undergo hydrodynamic testing, which involves subjecting the canister to increased pressure. If the extinguisher stands up, it can be refilled and used for an additional 7 to 12 years before another hydrodynamic test is necessary.

You may assume your extinguisher to endure for decades if you keep up with the appropriate testing and maintenance needs. To extend the life of a fire extinguisher, follow these steps:

  • Inspect all kinds of fire extinguishers on a monthly basis. Check that they are properly placed, have readable labeling, are free of fraud, and have a full battery.
  • Once a year, get an expert to examine your fire extinguishers.
  • Every five to twelve years, based on the kind, hydrostatically test your extinguishers
  •  Chemical fire extinguishers must be serviced every six years.

A routine inspection process should be in place at all places that use portable fire extinguishers to ensure that all devices are in functioning order. Choose an assessment service firm that has expert knowledge and abilities to discover any problems early major damage or harm to ensure that most of your extinguishers are working correctly within local fire safety requirements.

Conclusion

The fire extinguisher is a crucial component of safety devices that is sometimes overlooked. Fire extinguishers have a vital purpose: to save lives. Whenever a fire emergency arises, an extinguisher should be rapidly available and deployed to limit vandalism and the danger of casualties. Fire extinguishers should be easily available in kitchens or dining areas, electrical connections or cabinets, garbage areas, bathrooms, and other areas where a fire might start.

References

  1. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/pc.25587
  2. https://link.springer.com/content/pdf/10.1007/s10055-020-00447-5.pdf
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