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Can I Use An Expired Fire Extinguisher?

The sheer presence of a fire extinguisher in your building premises can make you feel safer all the time. However, this piece of fire fighting equipment without the proper maintenance may not function properly when it’s required. A major cause of a non-functioning extinguisher is that it must be expired or too old to use.

When it comes to whether to use an expired fire extinguisher or not, in this context, several manufacturers say that well-maintained fire extinguishers can last up to twenty years. Now another question arises, do fire extinguishers expire? The answer is that most fire extinguishers do not come with an expiration date, and it’s difficult to know exactly when to replace your fire extinguisher.

More important in defining when to replace a fire extinguisher is completely dependent on how well it has been maintained. Some of the possible factors such as damage rust and corrosion can cause a fire extinguisher to unable to operate properly over time. This is why your extinguishers must be inspected at the proper intervals.

In this blog post, we’re going to explain the signs of expiration for the extinguisher, its maintenance, and disposal tips.

Expiration of Fire Extinguisher

In reality, any fire extinguisher does not technically have an expiration date, as it completely depends on the quality of the manufacture for the individual cylinder. Better quality fire extinguishers last longer (fire extinguisher expiry period), and proper maintenance helps ensure they reach their full potential. Ideally, the user should replace his extinguisher approximately every 10 years. The period of using your extinguisher is functional by consulting the manufacturing date stamp on the container’s body.

It is important to remember that you should check the extinguisher’s pressure monthly, get it inspected by professionals at least annually, and get an extended service while necessary. Extended service and refill for the water type, foam type, and powder type extinguishers should be carried out every 5 years; CO2 type extinguishers only need this every 10 years. 


If a fire extinguisher needs to be disposed of, there are certain ways to do so. A fire extinguisher is generally pressurized and dangerous, and, for these reasons, it can’t be treated like normal waste. There are two ways for the disposal of any type o fire extinguishers.

  • You have two options for disposal if the extinguisher is not empty: either contact your local fire department to see if they will take it to your nearest hazardous waste disposal facility or they take it on their own. 
  • If the fire extinguisher is empty, the process is somewhat simpler - press the lever of the cylinder to ensure all pressure has been released, then remove the top to show that the firing cylinder is empty and take it to a recycling facility. 

Signs of Fire Extinguisher’s Time of Life

Signs of time of life and wear that prevent proper functioning of any extinguisher include:

  • When the neck seal is broken (reduce the pressure of the extinguisher, which is needed for it to perform) or showing signs of any damage.
  • The handle is broken, or weak
  • The pin of the cylinder is absent, or it has been previously released
  • The hose or pipe of the extinguisher is cracked, split or shows other signs of damage
  • There is no inspection tag present on the fire extinguisher
Final Say

We at VariEx (Variexonline.com) provide high-quality fire extinguishers and maintenance services to ensure that your selected fire extinguishers stay in full working condition. We have excellent experience and a host of certifications, giving you the best solutions reliably and safely. Contact us to find out more about our services across India. 

2 Comments to “ Can I Use An Expired Fire Extinguisher?”

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