If you have recently used your fire extinguisher to put out a fire, you have two choices: recharge or replace it. So which option is the right one? Let’s look at how to tell which option is best for you.
When to Recharge a Fire Extinguisher
- If the exterior shell and other parts of your fire extinguisher are in good condition, then recharge it. Most fire extinguishers are designed to last over 10 years with proper maintenance.
- After each use your fire extinguisher should be recharged. Even if only a little was used and the canister isn’t empty. A small amount of pressure loss could make it harder to fight the next fire.
- Every 6 years it is required by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to have your fire extinguisher recharged.
- If during an inspection the gauge is not in the “okay” area or it feels lighter.
When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher
- If the hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped or clogged.
- If the pin on the handle is missing or broken.
- If the handle feels loose or wobbly when you pick it up. The fire extinguisher may still hold a charge, but it may not work properly when you need it to fight a fire.
- If the shell of the extinguisher in cracked or dented.
- If the inspection tag is missing. Without the tag you don’t know how long it’s been since the last inspection or what condition the canister is in.
- If the pressure gauge is slowly going down and you haven’t used your fire extinguisher.
- If it is less expensive to replace the extinguisher than to recharge it.
It is important to have your extinguisher inspected once a year to ensure it is up to code and ready to deal with any emergency. Call Fire Control Systems to help you decide whether to recharge or replace your fire extinguisher.