How Old Is Your Fire Extinguisher? Does It Need Servicing?

Fire extinguishers are integral to fire safety and are required by law in many properties. But how do you know if your fire extinguisher is effective or when it needs replacing? A fire extinguisher typically lasts about ten to twelve years with the right ongoing inspections and maintenance. This guide will look at the maintenance needed to keep your extinguishers in good condition and meet your legal responsibilities. 

Fire Extinguisher Servicing

What Is A Fire Extinguisher Service

A fire extinguisher service is a series of checks and inspections by a qualified engineer. These inspections will test if the fire extinguisher is in working order or if there are issues, damage or malfunction which would prevent it from working as intended. 

What Is Included In A Fire Extinguisher Service?

A fire extinguisher service includes a visual inspection. The fire extinguisher will be checked to ensure it has not been damaged, tampered with, or used. The service will also include weighing the extinguisher and taking pressure gauge readings. The discharge hose will be checked for corrosion or blockages. Fire extinguishers will also be cleaned during a service. Finally, wall mountings will be checked to ensure they are secure.  

How Often Do Fire Extinguishers Need Servicing?

British Standards require that the Responsible Person conduct visual inspections of fire extinguishers at least once monthly. Basic servicing is required on an annual basis. Extended servicing is required every five years for water-based and powder fire extinguishers. This includes discharging the fire extinguisher and refilling it (if it meets the required standards) or replacing it. CO2 fire extinguishers are overhauled every ten years. This includes hydraulically testing and refurbishing the extinguishers. 

Replacing Fire Extinguishers

How Often Do Fire Extinguishers Need Replacing?

Fire extinguishers do not have a set replacement schedule. By following the servicing requirements, your extinguishers will be kept in usable condition. Fire extinguishers should be replaced on an individual basis if they are damaged or discharged. They should be replaced immediately to ensure you continue to meet British Standard requirements for the supply of fire extinguishers in your building. If a fire extinguisher needs replacing, this will be identified through the ongoing inspection and servicing process. 

Buying Replacement Fire Extinguishers

You can buy fire extinguishers online to replace old ones. If you do so, make sure they are the correct type and size to meet British Standard requirements for your property. It is important to note that once the extinguishers are installed, they will need to be commissioned by a competent person - someone with the relevant BAFE qualifications or equivalent. Extinguishers can only be commissioned after they are installed, as they may be damaged during the installation. 

How To Dispose Of A Fire Extinguisher?

Fire extinguishers cannot be disposed of in the same way as regular waste. The best way to ensure they are disposed of properly is to use a fire protection company. Many companies offering fire extinguisher servicing will also be able to provide safe fire extinguisher disposal. 

Buy Fire Extinguishers

Ensure your facility is correctly supplied with fire extinguishers and meets the legal requirements. Choose Fire and Safety Centre for all your fire extinguisher needs. We offer a full range of extinguishers and ongoing fire extinguisher maintenance and servicing. 

To learn more and discuss your fire extinguisher requirements, call us on 01724 281044.

Learn More About Fire Extinguishers

To learn more about fire extinguishers, visit our help centre. Here we have a selection of advice and detailed guides exploring fire extinguishers. We recommend starting with our Fire Extinguisher Usage Guide and “Fire Ratings Explained” post.