Is It Safe to Use Expired Fire Extinguishers?

Owning a fire extinguisher indicates a well-planned and safe household. But it doesn't stop there. Aside from owning a fire extinguisher and knowing how to use it, you need to know about its shelf life. 

But is it safe to use expired fire extinguishers? What should you do once yours expires? Are there any risks involved? Let's find out.

Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?

do fire extinguishers expire

Yes, fire extinguishers expire. Most fire extinguishers are marked with expiration dates, depending on many factors. These factors include the type of fire extinguisher, extinguishing agent, whether it's disposable or rechargeable, and where the fire extinguisher is stored.

You see, fire extinguishers contain fire extinguishing agents under pressure. For this reason, your fire extinguisher has a pressure gauge. Your fire extinguisher is under optimal pressure as long as the needle stays in the green zone. Over time, that pressure deteriorates until it no longer works― the last thing you want to happen if you need a fire extinguisher. 

Fire extinguishers are also susceptible to wear and tear, leading to issues like broken handles, damaged nozzles, split hoses, and blockages. When you notice these issues, you must get your fire extinguisher fixed or replaced. 

Lastly, specific models become obsolete as regulations change and technology advances. A fire extinguisher's shelf life varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, so check what yours says. 

Can a Fire Extinguisher Expire Before Its Expiration Date?

can a fire extinguisher expire before its expiration date

Yes, a fire extinguisher can be ineffective before its expiration date. 

In particular, fire extinguishers are susceptible to physical damage, pressure loss, and leakage, which can render them obsolete. Such issues aren't always visible from the outside, so you should regularly inspect your fire extinguishers at home. Note that even if the gauge indicates that the fire extinguisher is full, it might be damaged inside. 

Additionally, the chemicals inside a fire extinguisher can settle or dry up, especially in dry chemical extinguishers. This can lead to clogged nozzles that prevent the content from coming out when you need it the most.

Is It Safe to Use Expired Fire Extinguishers?

No, it is not safe to use an expired fire extinguisher. Using it can be dangerous because of chemical degradation, reduced pressure, clogged nozzles, and the like. These issues make the extinguisher unable to discharge its contents during a fire emergency. 

Remember, every second is crucial during a fire, and expired fire extinguishers put you and your family at risk. Imagine using a fire extinguisher only to know that the extinguishing agent inside can't put out the fire. This false sense of security can put lives in danger― something you don't want for your loved ones.

Is There a Better Solution?

Fire extinguishers are valuable fire safety tools that have saved thousands of people. However, just like any tool, fire extinguishers don't last forever.

Expired fire extinguishers are dangerous and put your family and property at risk. If you want an alternative that doesn't expire, consider getting the Emergency Fire Blanket.

The Emergency Fire Blanket is reusable as long as it's not damaged after use. Simply wipe, fold, and put it back in its pouch. It'll be ready for another use. Stay prepared, hero!