How long do fire extinguishers last

What is the shelf life of a fire extinguisher?

Lifespan of a fire extinguisher

Whether it is a permanent pressure extinguisher or a rechargeable fire extinguisher, a fire extinguisher should be disposed of properly after about 20 to 25 years. There are very precise regulations in Germany, because fire extinguishers (€ 35.99 at Amazon *) are generally not allowed in household waste.

After this long service life, however, no specialist company will either maintain or refill a fire extinguisher. Qualified persons will then recommend a new purchase at the latest.

Maintenance of fire extinguishers

For commercially used fire extinguishers, maintenance and inspection is required by law every two years. However, this time frame should also be adhered to in the private sector if you really want to rely on the fire extinguisher.

However, some fire extinguishers also have to be checked in private households. For example, if a fire extinguisher has to be available because a liquid gas tank is used for heating energy.

Strength test

According to the Ordinance on Industrial Safety and Health, commercially used fire extinguishers must be subjected to a pressure test or strength test every ten years in addition to normal maintenance. In addition, a strength test is required if defects have occurred during a test or the fire extinguisher has to be refilled.

As with all tests and maintenance, this pressure test may only be carried out by qualified persons.

Overview of the deadlines for fire extinguishers

  • after use - refilling and checking
  • after 2 years - maintenance and possibly refilling
  • after 10 years - strength test or pressure test
  • after 20 - 25 years - professional disposal of the fire extinguisher

Types of fire extinguishers

There are two types of fire extinguishers. However, the lifespan of both fire extinguishers is roughly the same. The permanent pressure extinguisher or permanent extinguisher is a little more expensive to maintain. This is due to the mixture of extinguishing agent and propellant gas.

This mixture exerts constant pressure on the extinguishing agent. Therefore, the extinguishing agent flows out of the hose of the fire extinguisher immediately after actuation of the release device. Various extinguishing agents such as powder, foam but also water are conceivable here.

Charging extinguisher

The charging extinguisher is very heavy compared to the permanent pressure extinguisher. The propellant is not in the extinguishing agent, but in a separate, thick-walled propellant bottle. When the fire extinguisher is triggered, the propellant is fed into the extinguishing agent container.

This fire extinguisher can also be filled with the three different extinguishing agents. In terms of quality, the charging extinguisher is of higher quality than the lighter permanent pressure extinguisher.

Foam extinguishers are most suitable in the private sector, as powder extinguishers cause too much destruction here. A fat fire extinguisher or a fire blanket is the best precaution for the kitchen area. The fire blanket is doubly useful because it does not require any maintenance.

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