Fire extinguisher expired, what to do?

We show you what you should do when your fire extinguishers have expired and how long they generally last.

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26 February 2024 Fire Safety

Fire extinguishers are the means of choice for fighting fires in their initial stages. Their quick availability and easy handling make them an indispensable fire protection device in businesses, offices and also in private households. A working fire extinguisher can make the difference between a controllable fire and a catastrophe.

But what happens when the fire extinguisher has run out? Does the end of its service life mean the end of safety? How long does a fire extinguisher even last? We provide the answers.

Protection of life and property

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Preventive fire protection aims to prevent fires or at least minimize their effects. Fire extinguishers play a central role in this. They enable smaller fires to be extinguished before they can spread and cause major damage.

Reliable maintenance of fire extinguishers is essential. Companies are legally obliged to have them checked regularly. This is also advisable for private use.

Fire extinguisher expired - what now?

But what should you do when the fire extinguisher has expired? Is it time to simply dispose of it and buy a new one? Not necessarily. If a fire extinguisher has expired, it doesn't necessarily mean that it no longer works, but it is a sign that it needs to be checked.

  •  Inspection by a specialist
    The first step after discovering that the fire extinguisher has expired is to have it checked by a qualified professional. They can inspect the extinguisher to determine if it is still functional or if it needs to be replaced. In many cases, fire extinguishers can be put back into operation through maintenance.
  • Disposal and replacement
    If the fire extinguisher is no longer functional or cannot be repaired, it should be disposed of properly and replaced with a new one. It is important that the replacement extinguisher meets current standards and is suitable for the intended use.
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Excursus: Are you wondering whether your fire extinguisher has expired?

You can see whether your fire extinguisher has expired from the production date on the extinguisher and the maintenance label. The latter also shows when the last test was and when the next test is due.

What is the shelf life of a fire extinguisher?

The service life of fire extinguishers is specified by the manufacturers and may vary slightly. As a rule, the extinguisher service life is 25 years. However, this is only a guide value for extinguisher durability and assumes that both maintenance and the timely replacement of extinguishing agents are carried out regularly. Weather and other environmental factors as well as possible external damage also play a role.

Good to know: Extinguishing agent usually needs to be replaced every 6-8 years. Our experts will be happy to support you in ensuring that the service life of your fire extinguisher is as long as possible.

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Keep an eye on fire extinguisher durability

Regular maintenance should be carried out to ensure that fire extinguishers are always ready for use. This applies to both the private and commercial sectors. In addition, it is advisable to keep an eye on the expiry date of fire extinguishers and take timely action when they expire.

Good to know: With a maintenance contract from CWS Fire Safety, our experts keep an eye on fire extinguisher durability. This means that the required inspections are carried out automatically in the required cycles. You won't miss any maintenance and prevent your fire extinguishers from expiring.


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Do you still have questions about fire extinguisher durability?

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