Your extinguishers have reached the end of their usable life. They’re expired and now it’s time for them to go off and meet their maker; so to speak. They’re an ex-extinguisher and bereft of life.
Well, it’s time to move on I’m afraid. The first thing you need to do is to replace them. Make sure you’re not without a fire extinguisher and buy the right one to suit your needs.
More often, it’s cheaper to replace your extinguisher than it is to get it repaired. So you need to make sure you get rid of your extinguishers responsibly.
For An Individual
You should take them to your local refuse recycling centre. But to save yourself a wasted journey, check they will take them before you go, as not all do.
Places that do take them will lock them away safely, until they have organised for their collection.
Some extinguishers might go off to be serviced and reused safely, and others will likely be stripped down and recycled. Almost all the parts of an extinguisher can be recycled in some way.
For example, the contents of a powder extinguisher can be turned into fertiliser. Whilst the extinguisher body can all be stripped apart and reused for different purposes.
So resist the urge to just put it in your normal household bin, and make that small amount of effort.
Not only because they’re classified as hazardous waste, but it is also a wasted opportunity for recycling.
For A Business
If you have a small number of standard sized fire extinguishers, then you can also take them to a recycling centre. Otherwise, you should pay for a reputable firm to collect and recycle them for you, especially if the extinguishers have been condemned because they’re cracked, dented or corroded.
This would make it unsafe for domestic transport and usual disposal.
Some manufacturers and waste disposal companies offer this service.
Just ensure that any company you use works within the ADR Regulations.
If you have an old fire extinguisher with a bit of life left, consider using it for training your staff. It’s a real hands-on way of learning how to operate one.
You should only use a water or carbon dioxide extinguisher for this, as they will not need much cleaning up after.
Also, remember to get your extinguishers maintained and serviced.
This can mean that you will get more life out of your fire extinguishers and are sure that they’re in good working order.