How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Last?

Fire extinguishers are crucial to keeping your loved ones and property safe. As much as we want them to last forever, factors like chemical reactions and nozzle pressure can affect their effectiveness against fire. So, how long do fire extinguishers last? Keep on reading to find out. 

How Long Do Fire Extinguishers Usually Last?

how long do fire extinguishers usually last

Unfortunately, there's no universal answer to this question.

Fire extinguishers expire and become less effective over time. However, they don't have a universal expiration date. This means there's no predetermined timeline to follow or exact number of years you can use a fire extinguisher before it expires. Plus, specific models become obsolete as regulations change and technology advances.

However, there are general rules to help you determine how long your fire extinguisher can last. Here are the factors that affect your fire extinguisher's lifespan:

  • Type of fire extinguisher
  • Whether it is portable, rechargeable, or disposable
  • The maintenance it requires
  • Manufacturing date
  • Manufacturer's guidelines for replacement

Most manufacturers say a well-maintained fire extinguisher lasts 10 to 12 years.

According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), here are the two fire extinguisher guidelines you need to know:

  • You should replace disposable fire extinguishers every 12 years.
  • You should recharge rechargeable fire extinguishers every six years.

You should also replace or service an extinguisher if you notice the following: 

  • Dents
  • Broken pin
  • Loose handle or hose
  • Rust or corrosion
  • Cracked hose
  • Low pressure

What Happens When Fire Extinguishers Expire?

what happens when fire extinguishers expire

If your fire extinguisher has passed the maintenance period without being serviced, things can happen that may prevent your extinguisher from working properly when needed.

For one, the rubber that helps seal the cylinder and valve connection will break down. If your fire extinguisher is frequently exposed to extreme, direct heat, have the rubber replaced often. Remember, a compromised seal can cause your extinguisher to leak. 

The valve stem is another crucial component that's affected when fire extinguishers expire. It is the key to discharging the extinguishing agent, so if it gets compromised, your fire extinguisher might not work during an emergency. 

Proper maintenance ensures that your fire extinguisher will be ready when you need it. Failing to do this may lead to your extinguisher expiring before its intended lifespan. 

How About Fire Extinguishers That Don't Meet Current Standards?

how about fire extinguishers that don't meet current standards

Some fire extinguishers may have been forgotten, especially those in older buildings. Since fire extinguishers have evolved, older ones― including those that haven't expired― should be disposed of if needed. 

In addition, fire extinguishers that can no longer be serviced according to the manufacturer's standards or those with parts that are no longer available should be replaced. 


While fire extinguishers don't have a universal expiration date, they usually last 10 to 12 years if properly maintained. Disposable models should be replaced every 12 years, while rechargeable ones have to be recharged every six years. 

Do you want more protection and peace of mind? Complete a fire kit with an emergency fire blanket, fire spray, and fire protection gloves now. While a fire extinguisher helps, having extra protection for your family doesn't hurt. Remember, it's better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. Stay prepared, hero!