How Often Should You Change Out a Fire Extinguisher?

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Look at the Needle

  • Fire extinguishers are equipped with a needle which tells you whether or not the mechanism is working. "If the needle is in the green area, it's functional," experts at RealSimple.com state. On the other hand, even if a fire extinguisher has no expiration date, the site explains "it won't last forever."

It May Not Have a Needle

  • Older fire extinguisher models may not possess a needle. If this is the case it is wise to have the extinguisher professionally inspected. The Real Simple site recommends "annual servicing for all models" and if the extinguisher does have a needle, but shows any signs of failure, consider it "unreliable " and have it immediately "serviced or replaced."

Bottom Line

  • Change out a fire extinguisher every "5 to 15 years," according to Real Simple. It is wise to keep an eye on extinguisher gauges--often in the form of a needle--to determine whether the mechanism is safe to use. If an extinguisher is old or without any indicators, it may be time to invest in a new one.

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  • Photo Credit fire extinguisher image by Chris Roselli from Fotolia.com fire extinguisher #2 image by Victor Soares from Fotolia.com stack of cash image by jimcox40 from Fotolia.com burning house image by ivp from Fotolia.com
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