How To Dispose Of Fire Extinguisher 🧯: In this blog, we cover how you can safely dispose of expired, partially-used or empty fire tanks – an item widely considered as a hazardous waste, which needs proper handling. We present you with a number of options you can do to get your fire extinguisher off your hands, along with some general tips to follow for a safer handling. Continue reading to learn more.Β 

 

We need all the help we can get when it comes to protecting our houses. This, of course, includes getting our own fire extinguishers in the case that a fire breaks out. That way, we can safely kill off any fires that can start in our own homes.

Should you have the need to use a fire extinguisher, make sure to take note of PASS. This is an acronym which stands for Pull, Aim, Squeeze and Sweep.

  • Pull the pin.
  • Aim at the base of the fire.
  • Squeeze the top handle or lever.
  • Sweep from side to side.

Now that you know the basics of using a fire extinguisher, we ask you another question: what do you do after using it? Do you keep it if it still has some left? The answer to that would be no. No matter how small the amount you use, you should already replace fire extinguishers.

What do you do with the old fire extinguisher then? The answer to that, obviously, would be to dispose of it in a safe way. But, how do you safely dispose of a used, expired but unused or empty fire extinguisher? Below, we provide you with some general should-knows about the safe disposal of your fire extinguisher and information on where you should send it.

 

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Here is how you should safely dispose of your fire extinguisher

As mentioned above, fire extinguishers are classified as dangerous or hazardous. Therefore, you cannot and should not dispose of them in both your recycling or general waste/household rubbish bin.

Do remember that pressurised chemicals such as fire extinguishers are a danger to handle, so you should tread carefully and observe proper disposal.

For an expired but full or partially filled fire extinguisher, make sure you contact your local fire department and enquire if you can drop those off at the firehouse to dispose of them. But, what if they do not accept those? Then, you can go ahead and contact your local council – ask ifΒ  you can send hazardous items such as fire extinguishers to a nearby hazardous waste disposal facility.

 

What about completely empty fire extinguishers?

What about those fire extinguishers which are completely or, at the very least, mostly empty? Do you have idea what to do with those?

Answer: to dispose of an empty fire extinguisher, you can recycle them! As mentioned above, you cannot place them in your kerbside recycling bin, but you do have the option of recycling them through your local recycling facility.

A fun fact about empty fire extinguishers: steel is one of the world’s most recycled products. This means that it is 100 per cent recyclable. And, a fire extinguisher container, obviously, is made from steel. Did you know that a 9kg fire extinguisher contains 3kg of steel when empty? If you recycle fire extinguishers, know that you exhaust less energy and raw materials. Creating steel from recycled materials uses 75 per cent less energy than when creating it from raw, virgin materials.

Take note that if you want to dispose of your empty fire extinguisher by recycling it, make sure you completely empty it of its content. In other words, make sure that all pressure has been completely released. Double check this by removing the head to make sure that you completely emptied the canister.

 

Additional tips if you want to be safe when disposing of fire extinguishers

Want to safely dispose of any fire extinguisher, no matter its status? Then you should remember these general tips!

  • Always know where you place a fire extinguisher. Whether you have one at home or you have plenty (for offices or businesses), it certainly pays when you can easily locate them.
  • Place it/them in a safe and strategic location where you can easily reach it/them.
  • Know how to use fire extinguishers properly. Check the PASS acronym we shared above for more information on how to properly use a fire extinguisher.
  • Check to see if everything is good with a fire extinguisher? Is there something blocking the nozzle? Rectify it immediately.
  • If you see rust in your fire extinguisher, then replace it immediately. In addition, if six years pass without using a fire extinguisher, then they need to be pressure tested by a registered fire extinguisher service organisation. Remember: every six years!
  • Call the proper authorities when an emergency arises. Call triple Zero (000) in case of an emergency.

 

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