How Long Should Your Commercial Fire Extinguisher Last?

Fire ExtinguisherFire prevention is a critical part of being a business owner. Protecting yourself, your employees, your building, and your equipment should always be your top priority. Commercial fire extinguishers are crucial for maintaining proper fire safety in your place of business, but they don’t last forever. Below, we’re going to review how long commercial fire extinguishers last and when you need to replace them to ensure they’ll function as intended in the case of an emergency.

What is a Commercial Fire Extinguisher?

A commercial fire extinguisher is heavy-duty and rated explicitly for use in commercial spaces. They often have higher capacities than residential extinguishers, and they are designed to suppress all kinds of fires, including those started on or spreading to flammable liquids.

What is its Shelf Life?

The shelf life of your commercial extinguisher depends on the type of fire-suppressant contained inside. Dry chemical extinguishers often have a typical shelf life of up to 6 years, but some are rated for 12 years. These are usually the minimum amount of time for which your extinguisher is rated.

Other types of commercial extinguishers, including wet chemical, water, and CO2 extinguishers have a shelf life of 5 years. After the point of expiration, your extinguisher should be replaced or recharged.

How to Know if Your Extinguisher is Due for Replacement

Your commercial fire extinguishers may need replacement before their shelf life has passed. If the model is out of date or the date of the last test is beyond the recommended testing period, your extinguisher should be replaced. A professional can perform a hydrostatic test to check for damages, and your extinguisher needs to be replaced if it doesn’t hold above its rated pressure during the procedure.

When to Replace Your Extinguisher

Your commercial fire extinguisher should be replaced if there is any visual damage to the canister, handle, hose, or gauge. It should also be replaced if it fails the hydrostatic test, is outdated or is beyond its last inspection date.

Commercial fire safety is crucial for protecting your employees, your building, and your business. Having and maintaining the right kind of extinguisher for your particular space and company is critical. If ever in doubt of what type you need or if your current extinguishers need to be inspected or tested, contact one of our highly-trained experts today.