USPS Ship's Wheel Logo

Fire Extinguisher Life


Does a Fire Extinguisher Expire?

(From SafetySeal Net) posted: 5/23/2012

Question: How long is a 2006 extinguisher whose gauge is "still in the green" acceptable for a passing inspection? 

Ditto question for the one that came with the boat but does not have any gauge on it?

Answer: We do not have any information in our Vessel Safety Check manuals on expiration dates for fire extinguishers but I can provide you with the following guidance to assist you: 

When to Replace a Fire Extinguisher 

Even if there's no expiration date, it won't last forever. 

Manufacturers say most extinguishers should work for 5 to 15 years, but you might not know if you got yours three years ago or 13. So how can you be sure it will fire away? Atlanta fire chief Dennis L. Rubin recommends checking the pressure gauge monthly. "If the needle is in the green area, it's functional," he says. If it falls anywhere else, the extinguisher is unreliable and should be serviced or replaced. For an older model without a gauge, have it checked by a pro. Rubin recommends annual servicing for all models. To find companies that refill and service extinguishers, check the Yellow Pages under "fire extinguishers." 

Replace or service an extinguisher right away if it's been used or if you notice any of the following: 

The hose or nozzle is cracked, ripped, or blocked with debris. 
The locking pin on the handle is missing or unsealed. 
The handle is wobbly or broken. 
The inspection sticker or hang tag, with a record of checkups and maintenance, is missing.

Boating Is Fun, Let Us Show You How

Stf/C Lee R. Chasse
USPS VSC Program Chair

Updated: 06/14/2012

Return To VSC Main Page

Go To News From The Chair


Privacy | Trademarks | Disclaimer | Webmaster | ©2006-2012 United States Power Squadrons