Fire extinguishers can help save a lot of lives in the event of a fire. This is because of the dry chemical that can put the flames down. It is also why every establishment is required to have at least one or two fire extinguishers in case of an emergency. At home, it is also ideal to have at least one. Since we are cooking and have a lot of electrical appliances that we use, our house is also prone to fire accidents. But this can be prevented if we have a fire extinguisher ready. But how long do fire extinguishers last?
How to Prolong the Lifespan of a Fire Extinguisher
A fire extinguisher can last from 5 to 12 years when unused, depending on its components. Given this, there are ways to extend its life for decades. One thing is to make sure that you have the right quality fire extinguisher. No matter how long do fire extinguishers last, repeat the maintenance regularly just to be sure that your fire extinguisher is still working.
Every month, double-check the shell, hose, nozzle, and the lock of your fire extinguisher. Look for any signs of damage so that you will know what to do with the damaged parts. Even if there is a small crack on the shell or plastic parts of the fire extinguisher, replace it, or have a professional give you a piece of advice on what to do.
Every year, have a professional check whether your fire extinguisher is still worth having.
During the hydrostatic test, the hydrostatic tester will fill your fire extinguisher with water or oil and have a pressure 125-150 more than the capacity inside the fire extinguisher. It is the process to see if there are pressure loss or vessel deformations.
Replace or Refill?
How long do fire extinguishers last depends on whether you want it refilled or not. There has always been confusion between refilling or replacing a fire extinguisher after a few years of having it. You can refill a fire extinguisher if its pressure is low or if you have a small fire extinguisher. But if the fire extinguisher has cracks, broken needle, wobbly tube, loose lever, and anything unusual, it is time to replace it. If you want to be sure if your fire extinguisher is safe to refill or replaced, better take it to a professional for an assessment.
How to Use a Fire Extinguisher: Remember PASS
- Pull – the lock
- Aim – at the flame
- Squeeze – the lever
- Swing – the mouth
The word PASS is a mnemonic that you need to remember in case of fire. Just be sure that your fire extinguisher is working and has the right amount of dry chemical so that you can put the fire down as soon as possible.
Where to Place a Fire Extinguisher
If you are planning to purchase a fire extinguisher for your home, you should also be mindful of where to place it. You want easy access to it so that you can put the fire down before it flares up in your home.
- Kitchen – The kitchen is the area in the house where it is prone to fire. This is because it has a stove, oven, microwave, and other heat and flame producing appliances. If these appliances are left unattended, there is a huge possibility that a fire might happen.
- Hallway to your bedroom – If a fire starts in one of the bedrooms in your home, having one fire extinguisher in the hall is the easiest way for you to locate and access.
- It is also good to have a fire extinguisher at the corner of your living room since most of the American homes have a fireplace. It is better to be safe than sorry.
Why we Should have a Fire Extinguisher at Home
Fire is the last thing we want to happen to our home. But we will never know when this can happen. And this is why having a fire extinguisher at home is the best thing we can do to prevent the fire from spreading all over our house. Here are other reasons why having a fire extinguisher is essential to have at home:
Saves a lot of lives
A fire extinguisher can save a lot of lives if the fire down before it is flaring. There are a lot of people who die, not just because of the flame, but because of suffocation from the smoke.
Protects our home
If you want to keep your shelter safe, a fire extinguisher can help keep your home from burning down to the ground. No matter how long do fire extinguishers last in our home, as long as you have one that is working, our house is safe.
We will not lose any valuables
Valuables are items that are either expensive or priceless. And we often keep them in some areas in our house so that they will not get lost. But losing it to a fire is a different story. Preventing a fire with a fire extinguisher can help us save these valuable items from being destroyed.
Now that you know how long do fire extinguishers last when unused, remember always to have them inspected. This is to make sure that you can still use them when you need them the most. An average fire extinguisher can last form 5 to 12 years. But it can even last longer than that if you continuously do the monthly maintenance check. Always having a fire extinguisher ready to help you save your home and your family is a big step towards a safe and fire-proof home. Find out more about Fire Extinguishers.