This is a guest post by Nick at Guardian Fire Protection. If you would like to Guest Post, check out the Guidelines here.
A fire extinguisher that’s not properly charged is just as dangerous, if not MORE dangerous, than not having a fire extinguisher at all. One thing many people don’t know is that fire extinguishers that have been used at all should be considered empty and should be either recharged or replaced – regardless of how much extinguishant was actually sprayed out! So now that you know when your fire extinguishers need to be serviced, the question remains: should they be recharged or replaced?
A good fire extinguisher should last you up to 12 years or more, provided you keep up with proper maintenance. What this means as long as the shell holds up, you should be fine with just having your fire extinguisher refilled and letting it live its life. However, if you want the best (and most economical) fire protection, you’re usually better off letting your fire protection company replace the extinguishers! Fire extinguishers are generally not expensive (refilling them is often the same cost as replacing!) and getting brand new fire extinguishers is the easiest way to guarantee that you’ll be completely protected from fires.
Note: the above applies only to fire extinguishers that have been used. If your fire extinguisher is slowly losing charge even though you haven’t touched it in a while, you may have a leak or a small crack in the shell – both things that would require fire extinguisher replacement.
When else should you have your fire extinguishers replaced?