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How to Dispose of Used/Old Fire Extinguishers

Although this is not something which is commonly thought about, fire extinguishers, like many pieces of health and safety equipment, have a lifespan. Over time, fire extinguishers which are non-gaseous will eventually corrode. That is, the contents of the extinguisher itself will eventually corrode the canister or body and also, the extreme pressure of the contents will eventually weaken the seams of the body, despite the fact that it’s made of robust metal.

Fire extinguishers also require proper maintenance and if this isn’t carried out properly, then things such as valves, seals and levers can become stuck during use, posing a definite health and safety risk.

To make sure that you know what to do in the event of your fire extinguisher reaching the end of its life, this month the team at Barnes of Lincoln will be providing information on how to dispose of a fire extinguisher.

Replace or refill?

Before you decide that you are going to replace your old fire extinguisher, it’s worth considering whether you want to repair or refill it first, since all metal fire extinguishers can be refilled or recharged.

That said, refilling a fire extinguisher can be an extremely expensive option because every fire extinguisher has to be individually checked, parts possibly replaced, and the contents of the extinguisher will have to be repressurised. With this in mind, refilling your fire extinguisher may not be financially viable.

Replacing it, can be a much more cost-effective option, since reputable companies such as Protect & Detect stock competitively priced extinguishers and offer speedy installation too. Also, you will know that the extinguisher in question is right up to current standards.

Disposal of domestic extinguishers

For smaller-scale fire extinguisher disposal, such as a domestic extinguisher or one or two from small business premises, the process is easy, simply take them to your local recycling centre. Here, the staff can put your extinguisher in a special holding bin and locked safely. This way, they can be kept away from any would-be thieves.

From here, your old extinguisher can be recycled by external companies or stripped down for scrap metal.

Whatever you do – do not put your fire extinguisher in a normal waste bin, they are perfectly recyclable.

Fire extinguisher disposal for businesses

For businesses with a larger collection of fire extinguishers, the chances are that you will have a fire extinguisher maintenance agreement with an external company. As well as offering maintenance, the company in question should also offer an exchange and disposal service for a small charge.

If this isn’t the case, then there are several national waste companies who can offer a disposal service.


At Protect & Detect, we offer a range of services to ensure your property or business meets all fire safety regulations, including a comprehensive installation and safety check on fire extinguishers and fire detection devices in a variety of business fields. For more information on our services, contact us today.


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