Fire Extinguisher Expiry Date

This question is asked by many people.


It is true that expiry dates are not stamped on the fire extinguisher, but does fire extinguisher expiry date exist?

The answer is No


Fire Extinguisher Expiry Date

Fire extinguisher does not have an expiry date, but not having an expiry date does not mean it will last forever. Both the cylinder and the content do not expire, but it can lose its functionality with time.

It is believed that fire extinguishers if will manage and maintained can last for over 15 years.

Fire extinguisher as we know is very important in our homes, offices and organization in combating fire breakout at the infant stage, and this can make a difference between catastrophic effect of fire and mild damage. Fire extinguisher can only serve this purpose if maintained and sustained in a workable condition.

Though fire extinguisher expiry date is not stamped on the fire extinguisher cylinder, most fire extinguishers have manufacturing date stamped. Knowing the manufacturing date of your fire extinguisher will serve as a guide in drawing out a plan for routine inspection/servicing or replacement. Routine inspection and servicing will preserve the fire extinguisher life for a longer period, but often times replacement is preferred. It is believed that fire extinguisher can last between 5 -15 years or more if well maintained depending on the type.

The duration for servicing or replacing a fire extinguisher depends on the type of the fire extinguisher. For example pressurized water, carbon dioxide and wet chemical extinguisher may need to be serviced every 5 years while dry chemical powder may need to be serviced every 12 years.

This servicing may involve discharging of the fire extinguisher, complete internal examination and recharging to ensure that all component of the fire extinguisher are working correctly.

You will need to contact the professionals for your fire extinguisher servicing and replacement.


When to replace or service a fire extinguisher

  1. When the hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped, or blocked with debris.
  2. When the locked pin on the handle is missing or unsealed.
  3. When the handle is wobbly or broken.
  4. When in the inspection sticker or tag with a record of checkups and maintenance is missing.


How to maintain fire extinguisher in a workable condition

  1. Daily visual checks
  2. Ensure routine monthly inspection
  3. Planned organized inspection and servicing by trained professional may be yearly, every 5 years or 12 years depending on the type of fire extinguisher.
  4. Carry out hydrostatic checks on the fire extinguisher to check integrity of the cylinder.


Types Of Obsolete Fire Extinguishers

Some obsolete fire extinguishers that should no more be used:

  • Soda Acid
  • Chemical Foam
  • Vaporizing Liquids (Carbon Tetrachloride)
  • Cartridge-operated water
  • Cartridge-operated loaded steam
  • Copper or brass shell (excluding pump tanks) joined by soft solder or rivets
  • Carbon dioxide extinguishers with metal horns
  • Solid charge type AFFF (paper cartridge)
  • Pressurized water extinguishers manufactured prior to 1971
  • Any extinguisher that needs to be inverted to operate
  • Any stored pressure extinguisher manufactured prior to 1955
  • Any extinguisher with 4B, 6B, 8B, 12B, and 16B fire ratings
  • Stored-pressure water extinguishers with fiberglass shells (pre-1976)
  • Stored-pressure dry chemical extinguisher manufactured prior to October 1984


In conclusion:

Though fire extinguisher expiry date is not stamped on the fire extinguisher cylinder, and no specified expiry date assigned to the fire extinguisher, it does not last for every.

Seek the services of a professional in the field to assess and manage your fire extinguishers to ensure that they are always in a workable condition.


See OSHA requirements for portable fire extinguishers