4 Ways to Know When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher

updated Jul 16, 2020
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Your home tech uses electricity. And where there’s electricity, there’s a fire hazard—especially if you’re the type to hold on to tried, true and worn out devices. Speaking of—have you checked your fire extinguisher lately? It might be worn out. Here’s four things to check to know when it’s time to replace it.

Now that we’ve taught you how to buy the right fire extinguisher, it’s important to keep it in working order.

Whether you’re an owner or a renter, you can use these tips to know when it’s time for your not-yet-used emergency extinguisher to be replaced:

  • Check with the manufacturer. Most extinguishers should work for 5 to 15 years, but you can check the label or check with the manufacturer for your model.
  • Check the pressure gauge monthly. If you’re a renter especially, it’s impossible to know when your fire extinguisher was bought, so check the gauge. If the needle falls inside green area, you’re good to go. But if it falls anywhere else, it’s time to replace the extinguisher. If your model is older and doesn’t have a gauge, take it to a professional (or suggest it to your landlord, if they provided the extinguisher).
  • Check the inspection sticker. Every extinguisher should have an inspection sticker or hang tag that lists a record of its maintenance checkups (it should be serviced annually). If the sticker is missing, replace the extinguisher right away for a new one with known history.
  • Check for wear-and-tear. A cracked/ripped hose or nozzle, a missing locking pin or a wobbly or broken handle are all signs that it’s time to replace your fire extinguisher.

(Image: Fire Design Fire Extinguishers)