How to Dispose of a Home Fire Extinguisher

Are your home fire extinguishers looking a little dusty? Even rusty? Do you know the last time you had them inspected? While many fire extinguishers last up to 12 years, many homeowners haven’t even looked at them for more than that.


How to Dispose of Used Fire Extinguishers

If it’s time to get rid of your fire extinguisher, follow these steps to do so responsibly.


Find out what kind of fire extinguisher you have

Class A, B, and C fire extinguishers are the primary ones found in homes. Your fire extinguisher’s faceplate will display its type. There is a numerical rating for type A and B fire extinguishers to showcase how big of a fire can be safely put out with that particular extinguisher. Type C fire extinguishers display a rating that indicates it will not conduct an electrical current. Some fire extinguishers also have multiple ratings, such as ABC, AB, or BC. These designations indicate the different classes of fires on which they are effective.


Make sure to go with a trusted provider to get a full inspection with APFE fire extinguisher services so that your fire extinguisher is in compliance with local laws, certified, and tagged correctly.


See if you can refill your fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers should be serviced every time they are used. Make sure you go to a licensed and certified professional to refill your fire extinguisher for safety purposes. Not sure if it’s been used? Check the gauge. If it is pointed in the red area, it’s been deployed. Either the indicator or the label may state whether the extinguisher can be refilled or not, since some types of fire extinguishers may only be used once. Recharging a fire extinguisher typically takes less than an hour. Afterward, a professional will make sure it is working correctly.


Recycle your old fire extinguisher

Fire extinguishers are made out of steel, which is recyclable. First, make sure it is completely empty by going outside and squeezing the trigger until all the pressure is released. Then, remove the trigger and plastic top. If you need assistance, you can bring your fire extinguisher to your local fire department to safely do it for you. They may take it for recycling while you’re there. If not, you can bring your canister to any recycling facility that recycles steel. Check before you go.



Where to Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers

Before putting your old fire extinguisher in the trash bin, contact your local waste department to make sure it is acceptable. If it is, go outside to release all the pressure and discharge your fire extinguisher. Next, let it sit out for at least a couple of days before safely throwing it out.


Disposing of a fire extinguisher in California varies depending on your city or region. In addition to fire departments, waste management facilities may accept fire extinguishers.


Keep Your Family Fire Safe

Fire extinguisher safety is easy to ignore. Even if it looks fine physically, it could lose its pressure and effectiveness if you’ve had it for many years. Check with a professional to inspect your fire extinguisher, refill it, recycle it, and dispose of it if necessary.


To learn more about fire extinguisher disposal, contact the experts at APFE Corp. at (866) 489-7205. Our professionals will be happy to answer any questions you have.