Fire Safety Tips: How To Dispose of Fire Extinguisher

how to dispose of fire extinguisher

Did you know that most fire extinguishers will come with expiration dates on them? You should keep a close eye on every fire extinguisher in a commercial building and replace expired ones accordingly.

Generally speaking, most fire extinguishers will last between 5 and 15 years before needing to be replaced. But every fire extinguisher is going to be different.

You might be able to recharge some commercial-grade fire extinguishers and breathe life back into them. There are companies that can provide you with commercial fire extinguisher services.

But you’ll also need to know how to dispose of a fire extinguisher at some point. You’ll want to work your way through the fire extinguisher disposal process to get the job done properly.

These fire safety tips will help you figure out how to dispose of a fire extinguisher in the right way.

Make Sure a Fire Extinguisher Needs to Be Thrown Out

You may be under the impression that a fire extinguisher is on its last legs. But as we alluded to earlier, this won’t always be the case.

Many commercial fire extinguishers can be recharged. You might want to explore this option if you have a fire extinguisher that’s still under 10 years old.

However, there are some surefire signs that will suggest you’ll need to learn how to dispose of a fire extinguisher. Here are a few of them:

  • Your fire extinguisher is well beyond its expiration date
  • It has sustained damage to one or more of its parts
  • Its pressure gauge is in the red or yellow zones

You obviously don’t want to push a commercial fire extinguisher too far and put yourself in a position where you can’t rely on it. But you also don’t want to replace fire extinguishers ahead of schedule all the time.

A commercial fire extinguisher will run you at least a few hundred dollars in most cases. It’s why you should be sure one needs to be thrown out before figuring out how to dispose of a fire extinguisher.

Avoid Throwing Out a Fire Extinguisher With Regular Trash

If you’ve seen enough signs to show you that it’s time to dispose of a fire extinguisher, you may think you can just put it out with the rest of your trash. But you should not do this under any circumstances.

Fire extinguishers contain hazardous materials inside. As a result, they can’t go out with regular trash.

You’re also not going to be able to recycle a fire extinguisher like you would other metal objects. The hazardous materials in a fire extinguisher will once again prevent you from doing this.

Recycle a Fire Extinguisher If It’s Empty

If a fire extinguisher is empty, you may be able to get away with recycling it just like you would recycle other items. It will no longer have any hazardous materials that could present problems.

You should, however, contact your local recycling company to see if they require you to take any special steps when recycling fire extinguishers. They might ask that you put it out for recycling on a certain day. They might also tell you that you’ll need to do something else to it prior to putting it on the curb.

You may even need to go as far as to physically bring a fire extinguisher that you’re throwing out to a recycling facility. It’ll be the only way to ensure it gets recycled correctly.

See If You Can Drop Off a Fire Extinguisher at a Firehouse

Is the fire extinguisher that you’re trying to dispose of still full or even partially filled? If so, putting it out for recycling will not be an option.

Rather than doing this, touch base with your local firehouse and see if they accept fire extinguisher drop-offs. Many fire departments will take old fire extinguishers and handle emptying them out and recycling them.

Your local firehouse should be able to provide you with information on how to dispose of a fire extinguisher if they aren’t willing to accept it. It’ll be worth contacting them to see how they can help you.

Bring a Fire Extinguisher to a Hazardous Waste Disposal Facility

Your local firehouse may not accept fire extinguisher drop-offs. In that case, you have one more good option available to you. Fire extinguishers that are still full can be taken to hazardous waste disposal facilities.

You should look up which hazardous waste disposal facilities exist in your area. It’ll make it possible for you to call them to see if they accept fire extinguishers.

If this type of facility tells you that you can bring an old fire extinguisher to them, there may be rules and regulations you’ll need to follow when doing it. Don’t be afraid to ask them to let you know what you’ll need to do to drop a fire extinguisher off safely.

Know How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher Properly

As a commercial property manager or the owner of a business, you’ll need to have fire extinguishers handy at all times. If a fire ever breaks out, they can help you suppress it quickly.

You’ll also need to have your fire extinguishers serviced and know when it’s time to replace them. Castle Sprinkler and Alarm can set you up with the commercial fire extinguisher services you need. We can also speak with you about how to dispose of a fire extinguisher.

Contact us today for more information on fire extinguisher disposal or read through our other blog articles for more tips on fire safety.