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How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher

While some fire extinguishers can be recharged more than once, there comes a time in every extinguisher’s life when it needs to be replaced with a younger, sleeker, more reliable model. While fire extinguisher replacement is a sure way to improve your home or building’s fire protection, it does present an interesting problem: how do you dispose of your existing fire extinguisher?

Since the contents of a fire extinguisher are under pressure (and typically corrosive), old fire extinguishers can’t just be disposed of in a dumpster right away. Fortunately, the process for disposing of old fire extinguishers isn’t that complicated – it’s just not something you should do carelessly.

How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher That’s Not Empty

Since full or partially full fire extinguishers contain materials that could be environmentally hazardous, it’s important that you take them to a facility that can process them. When you dispose of your fire extinguisher, squeeze the trigger and let a little bit of extinguishing agent out (the goal here is not to empty the fire extinguisher slowly, but instead to let the pressure out). Wait until the needle on the pressure gauge falls to zero (this could take a few hours to a few days), then take it to a hazardous waste center. They should be able to recycle both the extinguishant and the shell.

How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher That Is Empty

Disposing of an empty fire extinguisher is a little bit easier than disposing of a full one. The first thing you should do is squeeze the handle to make sure as much of the extinguishing agent as possible gets discharged. Next, remove the head from your fire extinguisher – this will let anyone who sees it know that it has been fully discharged. Finally, recycle the steel fire extinguisher shell – most community recycling centers should accept it.

If you have any more questions about Houston, TX fire extinguisher disposal, call Kauffman Co. today!

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