How To Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers

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How To Dispose of Old Fire Extinguishers

Fire extinguishers are a vital piece of equipment for both domestic and commercial premises. They’re designed to last a long time, even if unused, but eventually, you may wish to dispose of old extinguishers to replace them with new ones.

At LW Safety, we’re here to provide advice and guidance on fire extinguisher disposal and expired fire extinguishers. But first, a word on safety: remember that fire extinguishers are pressurised and classed as hazardous waste, so they’re not something you can dispose of through conventional methods. We do not recommend you discharge extinguisher units yourself as there is a high risk of injury and most people won’t have the necessary equipment to properly deal with the contents of extinguishers.

Disposing of domestic extinguishers

If you have fire extinguishers in your home or flat and you need to get rid of them, you can usually take these to your local household recycling centre to have them safely disposed of. You should ensure the units are safely secured during transport and that the safety pins are in place to avoid accidental discharge.

Disposing of commercial extinguishers

With any type of business, whether you’re in the retail sector, own an office, oversee a hospitality site or manage a manufacturing plant, you might find yourself faced with various scenarios when it comes to fire extinguishers in your building. Here are some of the common reasons you may be looking to get rid of fire extinguishers and what action you should take:

  • Excess or obsolete fire extinguishers

Where you find yourself with too many fire extinguishers or you have units you no longer need, you should contact the company that provides your annual fire extinguisher servicing and maintenance to collect these units for safe disposal. If you don’t currently have anyone providing this service, contact us at LW Safety and we will be able to arrange for the collection and recycling of fire extinguishers.

It’s important to note that obsolete extinguishers containing halon are considered to be harmful to the environment and should not be recycled.

  • Damaged or defective fire extinguishers

Where your fire extinguishers are damaged – this includes dents, signs of corrosion or defective operating mechanisms – you should again contact your annual service company. These units can then be safely disposed of by a professional.

  • Fire extinguishers outside their annual service period

Water extinguishers and powder extinguishers that have not had an extended service after 5 years in the field, as well as CO2 extinguishers that have not been pressure tested after 10 years in the field, should be serviced. At this point, the company carrying out the service can either make them fit for purpose again through repressurization or recycle them if they’re beyond repair.

  • Leaving your current premises

Should you decide to leave your current premises, with no further use for your fire extinguishers, you should contact the company who provides annual service maintenance to arrange collection of the units. They can provide safe disposal, or you can use a registered, licensed waste carrier to have them taken away if they accept this type of waste.

How to extend the life of your fire extinguisher

While replacing a fire extinguisher is a viable option, you can avoid this route if you ensure your units are well maintained. At LW Safety, we provide fire extinguisher maintenance to help you look after this important piece of fire-fighting equipment. We’re BAFE SP101-certified and can identify any potential faults or depleted units so that you can be sure you have fully functional fire extinguishers for when you need them most. Plus, we also hold ISO 14001 certification, giving you complete confidence that we will responsibly recycle your fire extinguishers at the end of their product life.

Call our professional team today wherever you’re based in Wembley, Harrow and Uxbridge and discuss your fire extinguishers’ maintenance or replacement requirements.

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