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How to Dispose of Fire Extinguisher – Recycling Used or Expired Fire Extinguishers

It is essential to follow some good practices when disposing of fire extinguishers. To properly dispose of a fire extinguisher, you need to consider the fire extinguisher type. They come in different designs to handle different types of flames. 

In this article, we’ll be discussing fire extinguisher disposal in a more general way, but we’ve addressed the different kinds as well so you know exactly what to do.

How to Dispose of Fire Extinguisher That Has Contents

Fire extinguishers contain different substances used to put off fire. Start by emptying the contents before you can proceed to recycle them. There are specific steps to be followed to empty different types of fire extinguishers. These are discussed below.

Emptying A Fire Extinguisher For Disposal

1. Powder-based Fire Extinguishers

You will require special skills to empty the extinguisher, as the powder can pollute the environment. You can look for a professional to do the emptying if you are not sure. Carry out your research, and you will locate the best experts who can handle the disposal.

2. Foam Fire Extinguishers

If you have a foam-based fire extinguisher you would like to empty; you should start by locating a sewer drain, then open the valve on the fire extinguisher and direct the nozzle to the sewer line. The contents will empty into the sewer line and leave you with the metallic and plastic parts that should be taken to the nearest recycling center. Remember, it is essential to recycle the parts as a way of conserving the environment.

3. Carbon Dioxide-based Fire Extinguishers

Some fire extinguishers contain carbon dioxide at high pressure. You can release the carbon dioxide into the air, which will leave you with a clean canister that can be recycled later. Release the gas gently and slowly so that you can avoid high concentrations that can lead to accidents.

4. Water-based Fire Extinguishers

To empty the fire extinguisher, you can pour the contents into the drain. The drain line will wash out the contents. Remember, it is essential to ensure the canister is empty before you can dispose of it.

Safety Measures When Emptying Fire Extinguishers

Always take into account safety measures when looking for ways on how to dispose of a fire extinguisher. Ensure the emptying process is slow and steady to avoid accidents. The general safety measures you can take are explained below:

Release Pressure From the Canister

Many fire extinguishers have high-pressure canisters. It is necessary to empty the canister slowly so that you can avoid accidents. Release small amounts of the content beforehand, into an open space to judge the amount of pressure you will have to deal with.

Let the Canister Sit for Some Hours, Then Try to Empty It Again

There are cases where the canister can appear empty, but it has some contents. The emptying process should be done in steps. Counter-check to ensure it is completely empty before you can start the recycling process.

Check Out the Pressure Gauge

To know whether the fire extinguisher is empty, you can check the pressure gauge. Some fire extinguishers are built with pressure gauges that make it easy for you to know when to empty them. The process of how to dispose of a fire extinguisher will begin after you have emptied it. Even if you have an old fire extinguisher, you should ensure you empty it. Disposal of an old fire extinguisher is similar to a fire extinguisher that is still in use. Always ensure you empty the contents first.

How to Confirm a Fire Extinguisher is Empty Before You Can Recycle It

To get the answer right on how to dispose of an old fire extinguisher, you should ensure it is empty. A simple trick you can carry to ensure the fire extinguisher is empty involves checking the pressure gauge. If the pressure gauge shows there is no pressure, you can then disconnect the cylinder’s head. Be careful when disconnecting the head.

If you are not sure how to go about it, then you can take it to your nearest recycling center. The experts there will empty the fire extinguisher professionally before they can proceed to recycle the parts. It is good to conserve the environment through recycling parts. 

Empty Fire Extinguisher

Why Should You Dispose of Fire Extinguishers?

You may be wondering why people are researching steps on how to dispose of expired fire extinguisher. It is necessary because leaving the fire extinguishers in your home when they have been expired or they have no use can expose family members to accidents. Remember, you will not put off fire effectively if you have an expired fire extinguisher. It is necessary to get them recycled or replaced if they are no longer in service.

Where to Dispose of Fire Extinguishers

You may be confused when it comes to disposal of the fire extinguishers. However, there are several ways you can take to get them replaced or disposed off safely. You can call the manufacturers to refill if your brand has a refilling program. Ensure you conserve the environment during the process.

Here are some of the steps you can take to dispose of the fire extinguishers:

Take Them to Recycling Centers

Some recycling centers can handle your fire extinguishers. If you have such centers in your given location, it will be easy to dispose of the fire extinguishers. The experts in the facility have the right experience to carry out the recycling process. You can work with them to get the recycling process started.

Return to Manufacturer

Some manufacturers will accept refilling of the fire extinguisher canisters. If you have emptied the contents and the fire extinguisher is still in good condition, then you do not have to worry because you can take them to the manufacturers for a replacement. Take time to research widely to know the best brands where you can get the fire extinguishers.

Call Experts to Dispose of Them

Several waste disposal experts handle metallic components and / or complete fire extinguishers. If you do not like the long process of emptying and dismantling them, call the experts. Do some research to know the best fire extinguisher disposal centers in your area.

Fire extinguishers can be a health hazard if not handled or disposed of well. Ensure you take the necessary safety precautions, as mentioned above, to dispose of fire extinguishers.

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