Jul 31 2010

How do you dispose of a fire extinguisher? How do you refill one?

Category: Fire Safety


Before anything is done, you should first determine the type of fire extinguisher you own. Most fire extinguishers will have their class and rating clearly displayed with a sticker on near the top of the device. Today, many homes are equipped with a multi rated ABC fire extinguisher that is suitable for distinguishing several types of fires.

The next step is to identify if the extinguisher has ever been used and if it can be refilled. Many fire extinguishers can only be used once and should never be tested. They will typically lose most of their nitrogen carriers after even a slight discharge. You’ll be able to tell if your fire extinguisher can be refilled by examining the valve at the top. If the valve on top is metal, it can be refilled or recharged. If the valve is plastic, it cannot.

Once you have verified the type of fire extinguisher you own the next step is to either discharge and dispose of it or find a refilling station. Once an extinguisher is discharged it can be recycled and added to your recycling bin. An even better and safer approach would be to contact a licensed professional to come and inspect, refill, or replace your existing extinguishers. See the NFPA’s list of codes and standards.

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