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How to Tell if Your Fire Extinguisher Has Expired

8th Sep 2021

Fire Extinguisher Models - Red Box Fire Control

It can be hard to know when a fire extinguisher has ‘expired’ given those that are well maintained can last up to several years.

Not only that but most models come without a clear expiry date.

Few know when this kind of equipment was purchased or how long it has been present within a building.

In this article we’ll explain what to look out for come time to replace or upgrade an extinguisher.

When was the fire extinguisher last serviced?

The first thing to look for is the condition of the fire extinguisher itself. Next, check the service label to see if it has been serviced at the correct intervals. In most cases this will be annually. Damage, rust and corrosion are indicators that the unit has expired and should be replaced.

How old is the fire extinguisher?

It can be hard to know exactly when a fire extinguisher was installed in your building, but you should be able to see the manufacturing date of a fire extinguisher date stamped on the body or written on the service label.

The manufacture date will determine if the fire extinguisher requires its extended service

If your fire extinguisher is either water, powder, or foam, they are due 5 years after first commissioning. If you have a CO2 extinguisher this will be due after 10 years. 

Is the fire extinguisher outdated?

Some fire extinguishers may have been forgotten about especially in older buildings. Since fire extinguishers have evolved over the years, some older ones may not meet current standards

Fire extinguisher that can no longer be serviced according to the manufacturers’ specification or where parts are no longer available should be replaced. 

Many extinguishers are no longer economical to test and recharge at the 5-year Extended Service intervals, so you may well be offered a new one instead.

If you are concerned about any fire extinguishers in your building, please seek advice from an expert. Our free fire surveys will offer you advice and guidance on fire safety in your premises. 

There are certain problems you should address promptly: -

•    The handle is broken
•    The pressure gauge needle is in the red zone
•    The maintenance record isn’t up to date
•    The nozzle has become blocked
•    The headcap locking pin is missing or the security seal is broken

In summary, to determine if your fire extinguisher is expired, make sure to consider factors such as the service history, age, and outdated technology.

Check the service label for annual service intervals and inspect the extinguisher for damage, rust, and corrosion.

The manufacturing date, usually stamped on the body or service label, can also help determine if the extinguisher is due for replacement.

If you have any concerns about your fire extinguishers, seek advice from the experts at Rede Box Fire Control and conduct a free fire safety survey.

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Red Box Fire Control is proud to celebrate over 35 years in the fire safety industry.

Over this time we've grown in knowledge and expertise, focussing on supporting businesses with their compliance in a friendly yet efficient manner.

We are confident that we're able to provide our customers with a high level of professionalism and industry insight. Add to this our commitment to integrity, and when it comes to fire safety you can expect peace of mind unmatched by other suppliers.

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