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How to Dispose of an Old Fire Extinguisher? Comprehensive Guide

Fire safety is paramount in every home and establishment. Over time, you might have an expired or non-functional fire extinguisher. But what should you do with it? Below, we explore how to dispose of an old fire extinguisher and answer some common questions related to fire extinguisher disposal.

Do Fire Extinguishers Expire?

Yes, fire extinguishers do expire. Although they are built to last, their efficiency diminishes over time. Depending on the type and brand, a fire extinguisher’s lifespan can range from 5 to 15 years. It’s essential to check the manufacturer’s label or consult a professional for the expiration date.

Why Proper Disposal Matters?

Fire extinguishers contain chemicals that can be harmful to the environment. Simply throwing it in the trash is dangerous and can also be against local regulations. Proper disposal ensures safety and eco-friendliness.


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Steps on How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher

Steps on How to Dispose of a Fire Extinguisher

Follow the following steps to dispose of a fire extinguisher:

  1. Check if it’s Empty: Before disposing of a fire extinguisher, make sure it’s empty. If it’s not, you’ll need to discharge it. Wear safety goggles and gloves and release their contents in a well-ventilated area, away from ignition sources.
  2. Recycle Fire Extinguisher: If your fire extinguisher is made of metal, it can be recycled. First, ensure it’s empty, then remove the plastic parts and place the metal parts in your recycling bin. Some recycling centers specifically cater to disposing of old fire extinguishers. Want to check local guideline for recycling? Visit Recycling | City of Worcester, MA (worcesterma.gov).
  3. Hazardous Waste Collection: For fire extinguishers that still contain chemicals, consider taking them to a hazardous waste collection center.
  4. Reach Out to the Manufacturer: Some manufacturers offer disposal or recycling services. Check the label for contact details.
  5. Local Fire Department: Some fire departments accept old fire extinguishers and dispose of them properly. Always call ahead to check.
  6. Specialized Companies: Search for “where to dispose of old fire extinguishers near me” to find specialized companies that cater to fire extinguisher disposal.

What to Do with Expired Fire Extinguishers?

Expired fire extinguishers may still contain pressurized chemicals, making their disposal crucial. Follow the steps mentioned above to ensure safe disposal. If uncertain about its expiration, it’s always best to replace it and dispose of the old one safely.


Knowing how to dispose of a fire extinguisher is as crucial as owning one. As they expire, ensuring proper disposal keeps you safe and benefits the environment. Always prioritize safety by periodically checking the expiration date and replacing old or faulty equipment. We at Trash Wizard are always up for trash removal services. Book your appointment here.


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