How Long Does a Fire Extinguisher Last?

Your home fire extinguisher has been sitting there for years. Maybe it’s tucked in a closet or cabinet, or maybe it’s hanging on the wall. You’re not sure how long it’s been there or what the fire extinguisher lifespan might be.

Is it still good? Here’s what you need to know.

Fire extinguishers don’t last forever

Over time, the chemicals inside a home fire extinguisher can lose their charge or pressure. When this happens, the fire extinguisher’s lifespan is over; however, this lifespan varies based on the manufacturer and type of extinguisher.

Typically, a home fire extinguisher needs to be recharged every six years (if it is the rechargeable kind). Disposable extinguishers should be replaced every 12 years. To determine whether your home fire extinguisher is rechargeable or disposable, look at the head of the unit. Rechargeable extinguishers have a metal head with a gauge that reads charge/recharge. Disposable extinguishers have plastic heads that feature gauges that read full/empty.

How to tell if your home fire extinguisher is still good

A good rule of thumb is to check your home fire extinguisher each month to make sure it can still function. Look at the gauge to read the pressure level. If the needle is in the green area, it’s still good. If not, the extinguisher should be serviced or replaced. If your unit does not feature a gauge, contact a professional to inspect it and then service it if needed.

You can also check the inspection tag on the unit to determine the last time it was serviced. If it has not been serviced recently, you should have it inspected or replace it. If it doesn’t have an inspection sticker, it’s probably best to replace the extinguisher.

Another way to check to see if your home fire extinguisher is still good is to check the label on the bottom of the unit. This usually includes a manufacture date. If it is more than 12 years old, it’s time to replace the unit.

When to replace a home fire extinguisher

In addition to old age, there are other signs that can indicate your home fire extinguisher needs to be replaced. If the locking pin is missing or unsealed, replace the unit. If the nozzle or hose is cracked or ripped, replace the unit. If the handle is broken or wobbly, replace your home fire extinguisher.

If you’re ever unsure whether your fire extinguisher’s lifespan is up, consult with a local fire protection expert. These professionals can inspect your unit and determine if it is time to replace it.

Consult with the experts

For professional insight into your home fire extinguisher, contact the experts at Carpet Capital Fire Protection Inc. We’ve been the area’s go-to fire specialists since 1977. Our team can inspect your home fire extinguisher, perform any necessary maintenance or inform you if it’s time to get a new extinguisher. We are dedicated to delivering top service to keep you and your family safe. Reach us today with any questions at 706-278-2320.